On this week’s editorial pages, we feature a column from Minister Katrina White Brown about the need for reviving the Gloucester chapter of the NAACP. This got us thinking about a pivotal moment in civil rights history, and the crucial role that the Gloucester NAACP played in it.
In the summer of 1944, Irene Morgan (later Irene Morgan Kirkaldy) boarded a Greyhound bus at Hayes Store, bound for Baltimore. She took a seat along with another black woman on the second row from the long rear seat, which had two vacant but uncomfortable positions. Upon arriving in Saluda, six white people got on the bus and the driver asked the two black women to take the rear seats and give their seats to two of the white passengers. Morgan refused.
The courthouse and jail were across the street from the station and a deputy quickly arrived with warrant in hand. Morgan still refused. She was eventually hauled, kicking and screaming, from the bus to the nearby jail.
It was at this point that G. Nels...
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