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Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965$
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Davis W. Houck and David E. Dixon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604731071

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604731071.001.0001

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Dorothy Tilly

Dorothy Tilly

May 22, 1959, Congressional Subcommittee, Civil Rights Hearing, Washington, D.C.

(p.98) Dorothy Tilly
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

University Press of Mississippi

Born on June 30, 1883, in Hampton, Georgia, Dorothy Rogers Tilly was one of the most influential women in the South. The daughter of a Methodist minister, Tilly’s religion would become the foundation of her civil rights activism. She met and befriended Eleanor Roosevelt in 1934 and was appointed to Harry Truman’s President’s Committee on Civil Rights in 1946. During the summer of 1949, Tilly went in Greenville, South Carolina to attend the trial of thirty-one whites accused of lynching Willie Earle. After the trial, she worked for the Fellowship of the Concerned (FOC), an organization actively involved in the battle for racial justice. On May 22, 1959, Tilly testified before the Congressional Subcommittee, Civil Rights Hearing, in Washington D.C. This chapter reproduces Tilly’s testimony, in which she talked about Georgia’s attempts to privatize its public schools and launched a tirade against segregation in the state. Tilly concluded her speech by recounting the harassment endured by members of the FOC and their families after a meeting in Montgomery, Alabama.

Keywords:   speech, Dorothy Rogers Tilly, civil rights, trial, lynching, Fellowship of the Concerned, testimony, Georgia, public schools, segregation

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