ADVANTAGES

LOWNDES COUNTY: Every fourth Sunday, Rev. Lorenzo Harrison of Selma preaches to tiny Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Lowndes County a few miles from Hayneville, the county seat. Word of Bevel's effort leaks back to the white power-structure and a rumor spreads among whites that Harrison intends to speak about Black voting rights. Carloads of Klansmen armed with rifles and shotguns surround the church. Members of the little congregation recognize Tom Coleman, son of the sheriff and an unpaid "special deputy," who in 1959 was known to have murdered Richard Lee Jones at a chain-gang prison camp. (Soon he will kill again.) Another is a plantation owner with 10,000 acres who had once shot to death a Black sharecropper because he seemed too happy at the prospect of being drafted out of the fields and into the Army. Mount Carmel Church has no phone they can use to call for help — few Blacks in Lowndes have telephone service and those that do suspect their calls are monitored and reported to authorities. With quiet courage, Deacon John Hulett manages to smuggle Harrison to safety. (Five years later, in 1970, Black voters elect John Hulett sheriff.)

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