What I remember most about our marching in 1963, was my being jailed after leaving Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, making it to City Hall, and being thrown in the paddy wagon with all guys! Being kept at the Fairgrounds, and later being sent to the County Jail, for taking part in trying to stop one of the police officers from raping one of the girls. I was kept in a sweat box for days upon days, and kept in jail over a month before my family located me! They kept saying I was too young to be there, but they tried to lose me.
Gloria Washington Lewis Randall
GLORIA WASHINGTON LEWIS RANDALL was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and is the only child of Lloyd B. Washington and Emma Payne Washington. She was reared in Birmingham, Alabama, and is a product of the Birmingham School System. She confessed Christ at the age of six and was baptized at the Trinity Baptist Church, Graymont, where she has been an active member for 69 years.
Gloria was blessed with two sons, Mark Lloyd Washington, deceased, and Alvin D. Washington, Jr. She has 9 grandchildren and 11 great grandkids. After finishing A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham, Gloria attended Tuskegee Institute for 3 years, where she was a museum guide for George Washington Carver Museum. She later graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a double major in Education (Elementary and Secondary) and a minor in Biology. She taught for 8 years, and sought a higher calling in the Social Work field, after attending the Master’s Program at the University of Alabama. She was hired by the State of Alabama, and worked from 1983 to 2008, when she retired after serving as the President of Alabama State Employees Association for 14 years.
She was featured in a prime role in the 2005 Academy Award Winning Best Documentary Short Film, “Mighty Times: The Children’s March” and in the book Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices from the Civil Rights Movement, by Nick Patterson. She was chairlady of the Civil Rights Activist Committee – Home of the Foot Soldiers, succeeding Tommy Wren for 2 years. She is an advocate for Voters Rights and continues to seek out voters, daily. She has appeared in articles in the Los Angeles Times, Birmingham News, New York Times, the Mobile Register, Smithsonian Institute, and Iron City Ink. She has published poems written on Civil Rights and served as a speaker for Children’s Defense Fund and is the recipient of many awards.
She is still struggling for equality and justice for all mankind.