Civil Rights

Charles Sherrod

Charles Sherrod is an American civil rights activist and a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement. He was born on December 14, 1937, in Petersburg, Virginia, United States. Sherrod became involved in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. He was one of the founding members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. SNCC played a crucial role in organizing and leading protests and voter registration campaigns in the southern United States.

Sherrod is best known for his work in Albany, Georgia. In 1961, he moved to Albany to help organize the Albany Movement, a civil rights campaign aimed at desegregating public facilities and challenging racial inequality in the city. The Albany Movement faced significant opposition and repression from local authorities, but it contributed to the broader struggle for civil rights.

A brief strategy meeting was held in the courtroom following the conviction of four out-of-town pickets, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, in 1961. From left to right: Charles M Sherrod, Joseph C Jones, and the Reverend CA Ivory, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Rock Hill Branch.

Sherrod’s activism continued throughout the 1960s. He participated in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation on interstate buses, and worked to register African American voters in several southern states. He also played a role in organizing the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

After the Civil Rights Movement, Sherrod remained active in community organizing and advocacy. He worked as a community development specialist, focusing on economic empowerment and social justice initiatives. He also served as the executive director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, a grassroots organization dedicated to improving living conditions and empowering marginalized communities.

Charles Sherrod (standing at right) and Randy Battle (seated) visit a supporter in the Georgia countryside. Sherrod married there and thirty years later is still in southwest Georgia, a member of the Albany City Council

Charles Sherrod’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and his dedication to social justice have made him a highly respected figure in American history. His work has had a lasting impact on the fight for equality and civil rights in the United States.

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