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“Freedom Walkers” Continue Journey Amidst Hostility in Deep South

May 3, 1963 - Singing “We Shall Overcome,” five whites and five Negroes who call themselves “Freedom Walkers” continued today the journey begun by William L. Moore, a 35-year-old Baltimore postman who was ambushed and murdered Apr. 23 in Keener, Alabama in the midst of his solo walk to protest segregation. Today, a crowd of 150 whites (pictured) stood around the Freedom Walkers’ departure point in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “They ain’t never gonna make it to the Alabama line,” predicted a white youth. A procession of more than 50 cars, trucks, and station wagons followed the marchers along the highway. “Troopers ain’t gonna do you no good down there in Alabama,” shouted one white youth of a group of 50 clustered in front of a filling station. “Kill them white men first!” yelled another. FBI agents rolled past in cars, filming the white harassers with movie cameras and jotting down license numbers. As the walkers passed beneath 11 Confederate battle flags strung across the highway in front of a souvenir shop, a little white boy clutched his mother’s skirts with one hand and waved to the demonstrators. The mother quickly pressed the boy’s hand down. Two of the marchers were hit with eggs and one, Robert Gore, was struck on the left temple with a rock. As the marchers passed a cluster of service stations, a crowd began to form, spilling into the pasture on the right. “Get the goddam communists!” shouted a white. “Throw them n*****s in the river!” yelled another. “Kill him!” screamed a woman. “Kill him!”


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