After watching Ain't Scared of Your Jails, I learned that the fight for civil rights was long and bloody, and that it required resilience and determination. We can apply the strategies that they used to bring about change in society today. As the fight for rights continues, we should look back to see what was most effective, such as the sit-ins at down town Nashville dinners. This peaceful protest pointed out an issue that was being ignored. This direct action lead to change, but it was slow. The parents boycotted the down town area. This economic stress brought about violence, peaking on April 19th when dynamite blew up a councilman's home. The students resiliently marched after the violence. This resilience is what made their tactics so successful.
Two quotes that really stood out to me were made by Leo Lillard and by Mayor Ben West. The first was made by Leo when he was a child and asked his mother about the segregated water fountains. "Mother, what's the reason? Why are there two names up there and the water is exactly the same?" Seeing the issue of segregation through a child's eyes allows you to under stand how it affected someone from a young age. The second quote made by Mayor Ben West was an answer to an question by a student protester. "... I could not agree that it was morally right for someone to sell them merchandise and refuse them services." Although he did not out right say it, he thought segregation was morally wrong. Him saying that was really meaning at that time and lead to change in Nashville.
The determination and resilience of the students continued in the freedom rides. The push back was much greater and violence was every where. These students were willing to risk their lives to bring about change. Even when they were taken to jail it seemed like nothing could stop them from creating change.