Woman arrested at 11-years-old during Albany Civil Rights Movement speaks out

Woman arrested at 11-years-old during Albany Civil Rights Movement speaks out
Lenora Martin Hall

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Lenora Martin Hall still finds it hard to speak on the day she found herself out of her parents care and behind bars at 11-years-old after attending a mass meeting that would help turn the city of Albany around one day.

“I was very frightened,” exclaimed Hall.

The year was 1963.

“I saw some of the licking sticks, some of the water hoses,” said Hall.

Where a then 11-year-old girl was hauled off to jail during the Albany Civil Rights Movement.

“The policeman came and got everybody out the church and told us to get into the paddywagon,” explained Hall.

Lenora Martin Hall recalled the terrifying emotions she felt that summer day where she was locked up with men and women twice her age, away from her parents.

“It was very traumatic for me, because I was so young, I was 11-years-old, and this was a mass meeting that was going on--it was a mass meeting,” stated Hall.

Hall was with a caretaker that day, and said she remembers songs of freedom filling the walls of Shiloh Baptist Church--then in a flash everyone was rushed outside.

“We didn’t know where we were going. We had no idea,” said Hall.

Hall would spend eight days in a Camilla jail cell, waiting for her parents to rescue her, as they tried desperately to locate her.

To this day she has no knowledge on how or why she was released.

“The biggest fear that I had was concern for my parents and them not knowing where I was being taken to or what was going to happen to me,” explained Hall.

It still hurts for Hall to speak out about her experience, but stated people need to know what children went through back then to help the movement push forward.

“It’s very disturbing when you’re looked down on, spit on, talked down to people not looking at you and seeing you as a human being-it’s very disturbing,” said Hall.

Hall said her work on this earth is still not done.

“The fight is still on, we can’t give up and we can’t give out, we must continue to fight,” concluded Hall.

Hall is an alumnae of Albany State University, a retired teacher, and a mother, now passing her knowledge to all who will listen.

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