Ain't Scared of Your Jail: Arrest, Imprisonment, and the by Zoe A. Colley

By Zoe A. Colley

An exploration of the impression on imprisonment of people all for the Civil Rights stream as an entire.

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For the NAACP, this general willingness to accept bail enabled them to remain supportive of the student movement. During April and May, however, appeals for people to reject bail intensified and the national office found it increasingly difficult to accept the actions of arrested protesters. 49 This statement must have served only to confirm the feeling among younger, militant activists that the NAACP was out of touch with the current mood of civil rights protest. This sentiment was expressed most clearly by James Lawson at the Shaw University Conference, when he attacked the NAACP as a “black bourgeois club” and “a fund-raising agency,” while also calling for an elite corps of volunteers dedicated to remaining in jail.

8 Just like Rock Hill, the Atlanta jail-in did not bring any tangible changes to the racial status quo. Nevertheless, those who participated gained a renewed faith in the importance of rejecting bail. ” “You get ideas in jail,” Charles Sherrod noted. “You talk with other young people you’ve never seen. . We’re up all night, sharing creativity, planning action. You learn the truth in prison, you learn wholeness. ”9 Talk of jail-ins and the ongoing arrest of protesters left the NAACP struggling to bridge the growing gulf between itself and the proponents of mass direct action.

Smith, along with many other members of the march, was taken to the county jail and subsequently charged with disorderly conduct. After two days, he was one of the last to be released when his father posted a five-hundreddollar bond. 33 The eleven arrested in the February Tallahassee sit-ins came to trial the same week as the police attack upon the marchers from FAMU. They were charged with a bewildering array of offenses in an apparent attempt to ensure that none escaped conviction. Once in court, most of these charges were dropped; however, all were found guilty of disturbing the peace and inciting a riot.

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