Who are the Stolen Girls?

Who are the Stolen Girls? Thousands of kids protested against segregation. Many were arrested and put in prison for days, weeks, and even months. This event was aided by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Over a dozen African-American children aged 12 to 15 were seized and held in a decaying stockade for two months without being charged in 1963. Who are the Stole Girls?

The Protest

In the summer of 1963, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) staged a protest march in Americus, Georgia, to protest segregation in collaboration with the NAACP. Then, in late July 1963, Black youngsters began to demonstrate regularly at the Martin Theater and the Trailways bus terminal against segregation. As white oppressors of the movement met the youthful activists with taunting and violence, the peaceful demonstrations became boisterous.

The march began at Friendship Baptist Church and concluded at a segregated cinema. When they arrived at the movie theatre, a group of preteen and young African-American teenage girls, known as the “Stolen Girls,” attempted to purchase tickets and were arrested for doing so.

Fifteen young girls aged 12 to 15 were imprisoned for defying segregation restrictions. By the Martin Theater and the Trailways bus terminal, the girls staged a protest. Instead of entering the back alley, the marchers attempted to purchase tickets at the movie theatre’s front entrance. Police arrived quickly, assaulted the girls, and arrested them without charging them.

The Arrest

Three young women, the youngest was ten years old, and the oldest of whom was sixteen, were captured and taken to the “Leesburg Stockade,” a dismal, dank Civil War-era prison about twenty miles west of Americus in rural Leesburg.

They didn’t receive any food in jail for the first few days. They survived on rations of overcooked hamburgers and egg sandwiches for the next few days. The girls also slept on filthy beds without access to a bathroom, sharing space with mosquitoes, gnats, and, at one point, a snake brought into the room by guards.

After weeks of searching throughout the region, a photographer Danny Lyon located the girls’ and alerted community members. Police released the girls days after Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream speech” in Washington D.C. After they were released, many of the girl’s parents received a bill with a charge of two dollars for every day of their child’s imprisonment.


Days after Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.; police freed the girls. Danny Lyon, a photographer, discovered the girls’ bodies after weeks of scouring throughout the region and alerted the community. Many of the girls’ parents got a bill of two dollars for each day their kid was imprisoned after they were freed.

The Leesburg Stockade Girls, “stolen girls,” are an example of brave teenage freedom fighters.

Work Cited

Leesburg Stockade: In 1963, Thirty Black Preteen Girls …. https://www.watchtheyard.com/history/leesburg-stockade-1963/

‘Stolen Girls’ in Leesburg Stockade – The Black Detour. https://theblackdetour.com/stolen-girls-in-leesburg-stockade/

Black Girlhood in 20th-Century America | Oxford Research …. https://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-852

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