Civil rights marcher reaches out to Albany connection - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Civil rights marcher reaches out to Albany connection

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Brown at the Albany Civil Rights Museum with Director Lee Formwalt Brown at the Albany Civil Rights Museum with Director Lee Formwalt
Kelly Brown Kelly Brown
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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  A metro Atlanta man who marched the streets of Albany during the Civil Rights Movement needs your help to reconnect with someone he helped save more than 45 years ago.

He was thrown in jail for marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. While there, he helped find a 12-year old girl. Now he hopes to find her again.   

 Kelly Brown's memories from Albany aren't all pleasant. As a young UGA student, he was one of the few whites marching along blacks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the streets of Albany during the Civil Rights movement. He was thrown in jail and thrown to the wolves, he says.

"They were all white and they were all of the redneck stripe," said Brown.

When Brown was locked up for marching in December of 1961, he was moved into a cell with white men who had all been committing acts of violence against blacks, about ten of them. One of those told Brown he had been locked up for trying to kill him.

"I look in the line of marchers and I saw you was out there, a white man marching with all those protestors, and I lost my head. I jumped out and found a rock. I was going to hit you with it. I was trying to break through the police lines when they grabbed me, wrestled me down, threw me in the squad car and threw me in here."

But while in that cell, the stranger who tried to kill Brown asked for his help. "He said, you've got the power. Save my little girl."

Brown reached out to Dr. King and asked him to send out a search party for the 12-year-old girl who had been left behind in the man's truck when he was arrested.

"Get everybody out there looking, walking the streets and the moment you find out anything, report back to my cell immediately."

Soon after, the girl was found safe, and Brown was unharmed by the men in his cell.

Now, after all this time, Brown hopes to connect with the girl he helped save. He plans to stay in town for a couple of days looking for information about the girl.

 If you know who she is or men who may have been incarcerated with him, you can contact him at 770-855-4075.

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