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 owner, Willie's Grading and Septic Tank Service. Age, 68
McCleod was the sole member of the eight Rock Hill natives in the Friendship Nine to grow up outside the city. He was raised on a farm just west of Rock Hill, and was a member of the Emmett Scott High School class of 1960. McCleod was active in the early sit-ins in 1960, and helped coordinate training and meetings in the nonviolent protest method before and after the Friendship Nine actions. He volunteered for the Army after graduating from Friendship, then later returned to Rock Hill. He ran his own business for decades, and often speaks to community and school groups about the Friendship Nine and social activism.
QUESTION: Why were the "Jail, No Bail" actions of the Friendship Nine important?
"We were trying to right a wrong. Segregation was wrong, and we knew that it would take action to show people how wrong it was. Remember, going to jail and staying there was something new. It was radical. All that we did to show so many others that a segregated world was an unjust world, . . . and I have never regretted it once. We were successful because of our support for each other, showing that together, we could make a difference."