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Civil Rights Activist Spoke at Jan 2018 Meeting

A record 55 attendees listened to Hershey Johnson at the January 12 meeting of the Democratic Women of Comal County (DWCC). Mr Johnson, born in 1943, remembers life before the civil rights movement of the 1960s.... He remembers:

  • The 1958 county fair that designated a "colored day", routinely referred to as "the dog day"

  • Segregated facilities, when being sent to the back door was a reality

  • When 14 years old, being slapped by a 50 year old white man for which Mr. Johnson was arrested and given probation--even after the white man agreed there was no provocation for slapping the young boy

  • Refusing to go to the back of a bus and being slapped with a white man's newspaper, resulting in three police officers pulling him off the vehicle to arrest him

Mr. Johnson told his mother, "I'd rather be dead than live like this." That conviction took root as a child when he saw disparity between blacks and whites as he picked cotton, and he vowed never to allow this disparity to be a part of his life.

He began protesting this disparity well before 1960s activists began their work. That 1958 county fair? He and others boycotted the fair in 1959. Shortly after one of his arrests, he was "coincidentally" drafted, for which he sued Louisiana. (He is a veteran of the Vietnam War.) He participated in civil rights work throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work and a Masters of Science in Public Service. He has been married to his wife Sybil for 50 years.

And his thoughts about our current political situation?

  • Mr. Trump is unstable and specifically unjust to women; we must demand our elected officials take action.

  • Democrats should not fight with each other in primary elections

  • We need women in every political race

  • Our country has never coped with anything like the present climate

  • Each of us should bring ten voters to the polls

It was a meeting to remember.

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