|I was part of Martin Luther King's funeral procession. It was my job to
lead one of the mules that pulled the carriage his body was on. I vowed that day that I
would not let Martin's dream die. I felt the rest of my life should be dedicated to the
struggle. I never left the movement even though the street demonstrations subsided.
Registering people to vote and making a change in this society - I never stopped that.
There was a senator from Alabama by the name of Jeremiah Denton, who was just barely
elected on Reagan's coattails six years before. He knew the next election would be close
enough for us to affect his ability to get back in Washington. That's when they accused me
of actually getting a bunch of absentee ballots and marking my wishes on them. They saw
the charge of vote fraud as an opportunity to kill us oft here in the Black Belt. I say
that because the FBI agents offered me a plea bargain: I could be placed on probation for
five years and do no jail time had I agreed not to participate in politics during that
five years. And I said, "Send me to jail." Then they told me they were going to
do all the could to get me. They did spend two million dollars on it, but eventually, we