Rosetta Anderson is one of my sheroes. We first met at the Wilcox County Pink & Black Gala in November 2008. She introduced herself as one of the adults who was active in the local civil rights movement. We began a correspondence, and telephone friendship over seven years of deep conversation.
Although I was only able to include some of her story in This Bright Light of Ours, she faithfully appeared at every presentation and book talk I gave in Alabama.
Mrs. Anderson worked with Rev. TL Threadgill early on. She and Lawrence Parrish, Dan Harrell and others began getting people up to the courthouse to try to register. “My daughter Lena Jo was one of the student leaders at Camden Academy I was one of the adult community organizers. I was about twenty-seven at the time. I was a designated driver and organized others to drive the risky roads. We had threatening calls to our home regularly. Our sons had to watch over our house. I had to leave them there alone. I guess I didn’t realize how dangerous it was, but I know I didn’t fear it or let myself fear for them. I could see the hatred in people’s faces when we went up to the courthouse, but I couldn’t dwell on it.”
Rosetta Anderson stated hopefully, “We are trying to come together, all nationalities to build our community. It seems we are more divided now than ever. I regret it very much, but I don’t think in my lifetime that I will see as much unity as we had back then. The economy now could bring a lot of us back to where we were. Out of the blue somebody could stand up tomorrow and take up where we left off, declare a new war on poverty. “
Read more about Mrs. Rosetta Marsh Anderson: This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight. Maria Gitin, University of Alabama Press