When I first spoke with Mrs Angion in 2009 she was in her late 70’s. She is a native of Coy, Alabama and the mother of 16 children. Mrs. Angion recalled the joy of being part of the Movement and the thrill of the victories from the long struggle. “One of the best days I will always remember is the day we marched with John Lewis. He walked with us right up to the courthouse and then he walked in—we could see him walking around inside where none of us had gotten inside before. That gave us a lot of courage; let me tell you. We were so proud that day! Now you go up there and there is Black people working in the courthouse, some of them are my relations. That I lived to see the day: yes, yes, yes!
There has been a BIG change since black people became citizens, able to vote, have a voice altogether like it should be. I am able to go to the polls. Those that are able to work can get a job. We are able to go in the courthouse and use the restrooms. I feel a lot safer. I know that Black people have rights just like white people, not every thing belongs to them. We were just about coming out from under the hard slavery. I don’t think either my grandparents or parents were in slavery but my great grandparents were What really needs to happen now , people need to come together, work together and don’t be fighting against the other (within the Black community). Most of the ones that really benefitted and got the good jobs didn’t march and all that. I’m one of the few left that was there, who remembers it all. They should learn about our history. Keep working, it’s not over with. Keep tryin’ to help each other. Thank you,thank you kindly. – June 2, 2009
© Maria Gitin 2008. Excerpt from This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Wilcox County Freedom Fight. All rights reserved.