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Former KKK Kin Speaks At Civil Rights Forum

 


Bob Zellner is the son and grandson of Klansmen, but fought tirelessly for Civil Rights. He is being honored with an invitation to share his stories at the 10th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage on March 5 - 7, 2010, marking the 45th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Bob Zellner's memoir, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement, tells a courageous story that Spike Lee is now producing in a film called Son of the South, set for release in 2011.

 

Southampton, NY -- Bob Zellner, a friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Zellner is invited to speak during the 10th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama, marking the 45th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. More than 100 members of Congress have joined the Faith & Politics Institute on this memorable journey, described by many as one of the most valuable experiences they have had while in Congress.

 

Dr. Bob Zellner

 

The 2010 Alabama Congressional Pilgrimage takes place March 5 - 7, 2010. Bob Zellner will share his experience with the Freedom Rides, Dr. King and other events taking place at the 1st Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama during the 1960s.

This three-day passage through living history demonstrates the powerful role of spirituality and courage in shaping our nation's history. The powerful influence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his famous speech in which he spoke of an America where his children "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" is rooted in Montgomery Alabama. President Barack Obama 50 years later is the most profound proof as to what our country has accomplished. But in the midst of these monumental events in our history, we don't learn about the unnamed "moments" in the individual lives of our countries past. Without these individuals and their contributions, change could not have come. 

One individual, Dr. Bob Zellner, tirelessly dedicated his life to the Civil Rights Movement. In many respects, he is fortunate to be alive. He witnessed tragedy all around him during the events surrounding "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Alabama. He was arrested, jailed, and beaten at the Boston Federal Building organizing protests of his friend John Lewis's savage beating in Selma. Bob Zellner, a young man growing up in a divided family and country, the son and grandson of Klansmen, became the first white southerner to serve as a field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Bob Zellner's memoir, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement, is the story of how one white Alabamian joined ranks with black students trained as non-violent protestors, who were sitting-in, marching and sometimes dying to challenge the Southern "way of life," the only one he knew. In August 2008, the Library Journal gave the book a Red Star Review: "He tells a story that is sometimes horrific, always interesting and ultimately inspirational about a white Southerner's commitment to racial justice." It won the prestigious Lillian Smith Book Award.

Spike Lee is now producing a film based on Bob Zellner's memoir, called Son of the South. Film crews have been shooting scenes throughout Greenville and Montgomery and will be completing filming during the summer of 2010. Son of the South is set for release in 2011.

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