Civil Rights author to speak at library

Published 11:38 am Monday, July 9, 2012

Silver Creek native Thomas Armstrong organized black voter registration drives in the 1950s, was a Freedom Rider in the 1960s and worked in the trenches to end Jim Crow laws.

Armstrong penned a book about his experiences, “Autobiography of a Freedom Rider: My Life as a Foot Soldier for Civil Rights,” published in May 2011.

He’ll be discussing and signing copies of the memoir July 19 at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library’s Brown Bag Lunch program beginning at noon in the library’s auditorium, 700 Veto St.

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The book has been called the saga of a foot soldier in the early days of the civil rights movement in Mississippi, describing how blacks affirmed their dignity in the Jim Crow era and white moderates quietly aided them.

The book also documents African-American life in the 1940s and ’50s in South-Central Mississippi and provides the history of the Prentiss Institute, one of a handful of black high schools of the time.

Visitors can bring lunch and a drink, and dessert will be provided by the library.