The Steps Story
Mark Gilmore: When we marched from Saint Jude, down Oak Street, over to Day Street, come into Day, on up Day Street to Mobile Road and come back in Mobile Road and down that hill, when you could see from the state capitol, when you hit down, coming' down that hill and you made the bend, coming down Montgomery Street, you made that curve and coming on in, you raised your hand and said, "I ain't gonna let nobody turn me around." And you were singing, “Oh, freedom, over me.” ,then after a while you would stop and say, "Fired up." And somebody holler, say, "I ain't gonna take no more." Say, "When you want your freedom?" "I want it now." And, you know, the whites was lining along the streets, saying, "Niggers, you'll get it when we give it to you." They was 15 deep. I mean, you know, I'm talking line, ready to fight. We stopped at Dexter. We had prayer and we proceeded from Dexter onto the capitol and, I mean, we strutted. “Now is the time.” That was one of the most powerful speeches I've seen the man make.
Did You Know?
In 1965, the population of Dallas County was 57% African-American, but of 15,000 African-Americans old enough to vote, only 130 were registered which represented less than 2% of the eligible voters.