Interview with Mattie Jones, April 26, 2013

Mattie Jones shares some of her favorite freedom songs and relates them to her experiences marching in the Deep South. She also talks about her work and friendships with Anne Braden and Angela Davis. Jones describes how Georgia Davis Powers helped recruit her to work for the civil rights movement. She also discusses her involvement in the March on Frankfort in 1964, and describes the power and importance of voting. She also discusses several of her experiences with racism as a young woman, and shares the advice her mother gave her to deal with this sort of treatment. Jones shares several particular instances of segregation in Louisville, including being discriminated against in shops and in restaurants. Jones discusses the training she received in how to react nonviolently to the harassment and abuse she was subjected to as a civil rights activist. She describes the violence against her and other civil rights activists, and her reaction to it. Jones describes some of the times she was arrested for her work as a civil rights activist. She shares a particular instance in which both she and her young son were arrested. Jones recalls several instances of being harassed by the police in various ways. In particular, she recalls harassment during a protest that was held after the shooting death of Michael Newby in Louisville. She briefly mentions some of the Louisville churches that were involved in the civil rights movement. Jones discusses the civil rights movement since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Jones shares some of the ways that her husband, Turner Harris Jones, assisted in her civil rights work, even though he himself never marched. Jones describes the work that she did in Atlanta with the Southern Organizing Committee for Social and Economic Justice. She also talks about her work as a part of the Justice Resource Center in Louisville. Jones describes some of the civil rights issues in the United States today, including continuing racism against African Americans, the need for equal rights for the GLBT community, and problems with immigration.

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