by Faye Moskowitz

“Which Side Are You On?”

Esther Broner’s novel of the 1960s.

In 1965, I took my teen-aged daughter on a special train to Montgomery, Alabama to meet the civil rights workers who were marching from Selma. We and the other passengers (mostly women) lustily sang “We Shall Overcome,” and union songs: “Which Side are You On,” and “Joe Hill.” The train trip home to D.C. was sobering. We were warned to douse our lights for fear of snipers. The following morning we learned that Viola Liuzzo, a Detroit mother of five had been assassinated, ferrying marchers back to Selma. In the car of the Klansmen who shot her was an informant from the F.B.I.

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