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E is for Equality

Viola Liuzzo
On MLK Day, some friends of ours had us over for a Birthday BBQ. They had a pack of Civil Rights Movement “photo cards” with stories on the back. One caught my eye, and my illustration is based off the card, a simple family photo. Martin Luther King once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The following copy is from the card, copyright of Library of Congress:

Viola Liuzzo, 1926-1965
Mother of five children and wife of a Detroit Teamster official, Viola Liuzzo might have appeared to be a “typical” homemaker, but as a part-time student at Wayne State University she had already participated in civil rights protests. In 1965, she saw the televised attack by state troopers on the peaceful marchers heading from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to petition for African American voting rights. Liuzzo felt compelled to drive her green Oldsmobile for three straight days to join the demonstration. On March 25, as a new group of marchers reached Montgomery and she was ferrying demonstrators back to Selma, she was chased at nearly 100 mph by Ku Klux Klansmen who shot her twice in the face. “My wife died for a sacred battle, the rights of humanity,” her husband said. “She took a quote from Abraham Lincoln that all men are created equal and that’s the way she believed.”

6 Responses to “E is for Equality”

  1. Ellen Says:

    Fantastic sketch and thank you for reminding me how important MLK was to the American culture. Now if EVERYONE had equality we would all get along better!

  2. hardwax Says:

    thanks to Mrs. Viola ,and others-this is a better country-not perfect-not yet.
    a poignant rendering.

  3. Baskerville Hound Says:

    What a tragic story- what is worse is that this is one of so many. Thank you for sharing this and your poignant drawing. you have used this week’s illustration friday theme so well- to share an important message. well done

  4. Don Says:

    Very moving and well done.

  5. Sarah Liuzzo Prado Says:

    That is my Grandmother.Yes MLK was very important,but this is about her.Many people do not know her story,as it was coverd up in a smear campaign against her by the F.B.I
    Look her up and learn what a truly amazing woman she was.If anything at all comes up negative,it was all from the smear campaign,and none of the negative stuff is true.Anyways,about this piece,I personally found it beautiful and terrifying at the same time.The was the kkk is represented in the background states such a bold,sad and scary message of the story of her murder.

  6. Administrator Says:

    I want to thank Sarah Liuzzo Prado for contacting me, and adding her comments to this site. Her Grandmother’s life story is forever followed by her horrific murder. I am amazed and ashamed that humans can do such awful things to each other, and feel no remorse. What kind of person runs down a woman and shoots her in the face? I encourge people to learn more about Viola, her story is still important. Especially the way the world is today, and what and who justice is really for.

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