Interview with Ruby Sales

OK Ruby you have something you want to tell me. Go ahead.


I also think Tuskegee was very important too because when I came to Tuskegee I had come from a background of non-violence where I did not have a clear understanding that there was a possibility that people would hurt each other. And when I came to Tuskegee, before I went to Lowndes County, Alabama, I participated in the first demonstration and on that demonstration what was very significant about that demonstration was that, not only was I in the demonstration with my friends and my peers, but I was also on the demonstration with people who taught me in class. So I went to that demonstration with a great deal of naivet and a sense of what people's limits were. So when we got to the, ah, capital in Montgomery and were surrounded by police and dogs and horses and we were singing, "Come by here, Lord. Come by here." Well, coming from a Baptist background and a, and a religious background and this whole sense that we were bred on that, that right would ultimately win out and bad would be punished, when we were singing, "Come by here, Lord. Come by here," part of me expected at that point that the sky would literally open up and we would be rescued from the, from the dogs and from the, from the horses and, and from the violence. And when that didn't happen I think I went through a religious crisis at that point. I began to understand that there were things that existed in the world that I had not been prepared for and I began to understand that people would, in fact, kill you, that I had not been prepared for that reality, that there were people in the world who would kill you simply because you were Black, that they didn't even know but that they would hurt you simply because of how you looked.