Sunday, March 28, 2021

Patricia Stephens Due

Maybe you've seen this graphic about the arrest of Georgia Representative Park Cannon, who had the temerity to knock on the governor's door while he was signing the voter suppression bill while six white men looked on:

But if you're like me, you probably didn't know that the woman being arrested in the left-hand photo was Patricia Stephens Due. 

I learned this today from a tweet by her daughter, the writer Tananarive Due.

My late mother, Patricia Stephens Due, is pictured in Stacey Abrams' pinned tweet under Jim Crow 1.0. Mom passed away in 2012. She wore dark glasses even indoors after police teargassed her in 1960. Mom didn't get arrested (multiple times) for us to lose voting rights now.

Due then retweeted the Zinn Education Project with more information about her mother's work:

Patricia Stephens Due's [refusal to post bail] gave the Civil Rights Movement a new tactic in the struggle for equality. It was a tactical breakthrough that filled the jails and put pressure on the government. — Paul Ortiz, University of Florida

The full article is here. Stephens Due was arrested in Tallahassee that time for entering the whites-only area of a theater in January1963. Earlier, she had been arrested in the same city during a lunch counter sit-in at a Woolworth's.

She and her daughter co-wrote a book called Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights.

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