Archive for the ‘Catherine Burks Brooks’ Category

Born in Selma, Catherine Burks was a 21 year-old senior at Tennessee State University when she joined the freedom rides, and her refusal to be intimidated by “Bull” Connor’s personal threats as he drove her and six companions to the Tennessee border is captured with unique accuracy in Chapter 5 of Professor Arsenault’s book. She was on the bus with Bill Harbour, John Lewis, Jim Zwerg, Susan Wilber, Susan Herman, Bernard Lafayette, William Barbee, and others in Montgomery, and during the brutal mob attack – perhaps the worst since the Anniston firebombing – she rescued some of the female riders from the mob by driving them to First Baptist Church in a taxicab which she drove herself notwithstanding the protest of the black driver. She continued her commitment to the movement by traveling with Bill Harbour, John Lewis, Jim Zwerg, and others to Chicago to raise funds for CORE, and sees the Movement, and Dr. King’s personal efforts as including empowerment by grass roots organization – directed at social and economic progress, in the footsteps of the organizational techniques of union movements