Interview with Ruby Sales

I want to take you into Lowndes County now with that same sense of fear because Lowndes County had a terrible reputation. You were sixteen, tell me how you--


I want you to talk to me about that sense of fear going into Lowndes County and how you had faced that.


OK, when I went into Lowndes County I was afraid but there was a sense of optimism, at that point, that sort of overrode all of the fear. And when I went into Lowndes County, the first day I began to hear these terrible stories about Lowndes County being called bloody Lowndes and that some of the local people who lived there told me that there was a gully, that if you were to go and look in the gully you could seen the bones of Black people bleached White from years of violence and lynching. So I had a real sense that I was in the midst of a very violent environment. And that, that, that reality was driven home to me when, ah, a couple of days later Mary, Mary Mosely who was my best friend, we had gone into the county together. We went out and were trying to register people and we asked some White men how to get to this little small town where we had been assounded--assigned, Letohatchee and they sent us to a graveyard. The directions that they gave us led us to a graveyard. And so there we were surrounded by graves on the one hand and there was this car of White men on the other hand. And Mary Nell Mosely, Mary Nell was not a seasoned driver and we literally, absolutely panicked and so she turned around very fast and we drove out of there with our lives. Ah, and I was always conscious as we were driving away that, "God I might never see my parents again. I might never see my friends again." And, and, and just really trying to sort of push Mary so that she wouldn't panic because I was aware that she was not accustomed to driving. So that was, ah, a reality for me that we were in potentially a very dangerous situation.