One Story of the Great Migration

“Black people can fight for injustice in this current day by continuing to take over; to continue protesting and marching for change.  We need to start working with the young Black kids and give them education and mentors.”  Rebecca Gilton Hardin

In this episode, Mrs. Rebecca Gilton Hardin tells her story as an active woman in the civil rights movement while attending Alabama State. She also discusses attending Martin Luther King Jr.’s church, marching with him and a lot more.

Mrs. Rebecca Gilton Hardin was born and raised in Lanett, Alabama in early 1934. Her birth certificate says she is a “Negro”.   She is a wife, a mother of 2 children, 3 grandchildren, and 9 siblings. Rebecca felt that children needed to be treated like people, so she became an elementary teacher in Chicago for 37 years and then became a librarian because there was a shortage of librarians.
  • Her father and mother-
    • He wanted his kids “tall”, and Ms. Rebecca called her mother by her first name.
  • Education-
    • There were no schools for them. Her father had to build one. However, “they” sent them a teacher.
    • They didn’t have a school bus.
    • She was kept in 6th grade for 2 years because she was too little to go downtown for school.  Young Rebecca was required to walk 5 miles to her downtown school because there was no school bus for her demographic group.
    • She attended Alabama State and was very active in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • The Movement-
  •  She did not fear to march and protesting
    • After the law was passed about bus segregation, she had to cross state lines with her sick baby on the bus.
    • A white person entered the bus, they asked her to move to the back of the bus.  She did, only because she was with her sick baby. If she hadn’t, they would have arrested her.
    • She attended a church where Martin Luther King, Jr. was the pastor
    • She marched with him in Washington.
  • Her white friend
    • When she was 8 years old, she would play with a little white girl on a regular basis
    • One day the little girl told her, “I can’t play with you anymore because you are a negro”.
  • President Obama
    • She cried the day Obama became President
    • She believes he did help Black people  
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