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Demonstrators Attempting to Complete “Freedom Walk” to Jackson, Miss.

May 1, 1963 - Five white persons and five Negroes completed today the first leg of a four-hundred-mile “Freedom Walk” to Jackson, Miss. They then encamped for the night at a little church in an isolated mountain cove in Wildwood, Ga. The walkers, members of the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, have vowed to complete the journey begun by William L. Moore, a 35-year-old Baltimore postman who murdered Apr. 23 in Keener, Ala. After the 10-mile hike along U.S. 11 from Chattanooga, Tenn., the Freedom Walkers unrolled their sleeping bags to spend the night at the Calvary Baptist Church. Whites in cars and trucks roared up and down the gravel road and into the churchyard, gunning their engines and throwing up clouds of dust. Three men in sweat-stained work clothes stopped and expressed thinly veiled threats to several members of the group. Others voiced displeasure at the sight of two white girls talking with Negroes. No law-enforcement officers were anywhere to be seen. This morning, the Freedom Walkers departed the Greyhound bus station in Chattanooga to the accompaniment of jeers. “I hope all of y’all’s legs cramp,” called out one white man. “Hope you stop a .22,” shouted another white, referring to the fact that Mr. Moore had been slain by a .22-caliber rifle. “God bless you,” said an old Negro woman (right). “He is with you.”


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