All but one members of the Friendship Nine were from Rock Hill. After leaving Friendship Junior College, they joined the military, enrolled in another college or started successful businesses. All believe the "Jail, No Bail" strategy paved the way to an integrated America. Here's a look at each member:
Lives in Rock Hill. Retired social worker who worked for the state of South Carolina for 21 years and was director of manpower for Carolina Community Actions. Age, 68
Graham grew up in the Boyd Hill neighborhood of Rock Hill, and was a member of the Emmett Scott High Class of 1959. He became involved in nonviolent protests in high school and after starting at Friendship Junior College, and was a chief organizer at Friendship for the CORE nonviolent training sessions held both on campus and at Claflin University in Orangeburg. After the Friendship Nine protests and jail time, Graham stayed active in the nonviolent protests in the city until his graduation. Faced with a reputation as a "troublemaker" in Rock Hill, Graham joined the Air Force in 1962 and served in Vietnam. He worked in social services in other South Carolina counties for more than two decades before coming back to Rock Hill to live. Graham coordinates and provides many of the area educational talks to civic and school groups about the Friendship Nine, nonviolent protests, and civil rights.
QUESTION: Why were the "Jail, No Bail" actions of the Friendship Nine important?
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"For more than 30 years after the protest, we rarely if ever talked about it. What we did seemed lost to history. But in recent years we have found that young people do not know what blacks had to endure 50 years ago, and did not know how segregation was terrible for all people regardless of their race. Our fight was not against any white person or white people - our fight was against the system of segregation. We helped get rid of segregation, not for us as a group, but for all Americans. That is why what we did will last forever."