Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The most powerful part of the video “Ain’t scared of your jails”, was the story told by Fredrick Leonard at the very end of the documentary in my opinion. His story was about how “peewee” a black inmate was forced by the guards to beat up Leonard because he would not give up his mattress. The inhumanity of this situation extents to both individuals; to Leonard because he does not want to sleep on the cold steel again, and to peewee because he does not want to harm Leonard just for not giving up his mattress. Instances like these and others throughout the movie were really the backbone of the non-violent African American movement for equality in the south during the 1960’s. Without the individual effort of all those students to remain non-violent and still break the segregation laws, change would have been slow or non-existent in the south. The video shows that change did not come about rapidly, however it showed itself through milestones. One such milestone was when mayor Ben West of Nashville was asked the following question by Diane Nash, "First of all, Mayor West, do you feel that it's wrong to discriminate against a person solely on the basis of his race or color?" to which he replied, “I could not agree that it was morally right for someone to sell them merchandise and refuse them service.” This break-through by a politician for the first time allowed blacks to sit at lunch counters in the south.


  1. The story of Peewee was one that really hit me hard. It just goes to show that morally a person could not handle causing another person harm knowing the reasoning behind it was wrong. Discrimination killed everyone inside out.

  2. very well written, ahmed, and right on. thanks for posting.