Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

In the documentary Ain't Scared of Your Jails we hear of many of the hardships of the Civil Rights movement as well as of some accounts from those who experienced it first hand. What stood out to me most when I watched this video was that the mobs and protests against the African Americans' non-violent direct actions were more disruptive and dangerous than the actual segregation protests themselves. They were so well organized and so well taught that regardless of the violence that faced them as they freedom-rode or sat-in they were able to obtain their desired reactions and responses through passive behavior. The police did nothing to assist them regardless the beatings (both phyical and verbal) and eventually took it a step further by arresting them. I don't know that I would have been able to deal with the hatred that they saw each and every day with the same grace that they posessed throughout the protests, but I think that this may have been why they were ultimately so successful.

I loved the part where Diane Nash told us of the waves of students at the sit-ins. When the police had decided to arrest the protestors, another wave would go sit down. Wave after wave, there was always someone there sitting in the seats at the lunch counter, further making their point. The bravery that these young people showed in such hard times truly makes them heroes. They were willing to risk such serious punishment for the greater good. As was mentioned in the movie, most didn't take the protests too seriously in the beginning but through their persistence and rather small actions, like sitting in a seat, they were able to help accomplish something huge.

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