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July 16: Bob Zellner Civil Rights Activist

Bob Zellner: Civil Rights Activist Leader and Son of the South

Bob is an active leader in the Civil Rights Movement, from the 1960s to today. The son and grandson of Ku Klux Klan members, he risked his life – and nearly lost it – many times in the fight to achieve The Second Emancipation. His life has been reprised in the 2020 film, Son of the South, directed by Barry Alexander Brown.

As an organizer of The Freedom Rides of 1961 and the first white southerner to serve as field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), he worked alongside Ella Baker, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Diane Nash, Julian Bond, Fannie Lou Hamer and many other civil rights leaders. Bob, as an SNCC member, is famous for battles with the KKK, segregationist lynch mobs, and violent police. He is now one of the key individuals that younger generations turn to with questions on the racial, historical and cultural assumptions they were raised on, as they ask themselves, "What is my place in this struggle?"

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