In 1965, 21-year-old Torontonian, Paul Saltzman drove to Mississippi, volunteering as a civil rights worker with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. He was arrested, spending 10 days in jail. He smuggled letters out of jail to the Toronto Star. Canadian Foreign Affairs requested his release but Saltzman declined. Posted to one of the toughest segregationist towns, Greenwood, he helped disadvantaged sharecroppers register to vote. He was assaulted by a young Klansman. In 2007, Saltzman returned to find the KKK member who had punched him in the head, to explore if individual reconciliation was possible. He found him and a 5 year dialogue has ensued. His assailant was, Byron de la Beckwith Jr., whose father, Byron de la Beckwith Sr. murdered NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers.
Did You Know?
Right here in this segregated backward society, I got one of the best educations reading Shakespeare and Chaucer, Longfellow, Wadsworth, in the 8th grade. When I was 8 years old I got a library card. I cannot tell you what kind of doors open up for you with books. Nothing else does it. Nothing else does it. Kids who grow up with television are growing up with their imaginations stunted. If you read a book, you create the whole world. It's all created inside your head. So you have a lot to do ...