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My Race to Freedom: A Life in the Civil Rights Movement

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    by Gwendolyn Patton

    The civil rights movement was defined by figures thrust into positions of importance; be they participants in a sit-in, Freedom Riders, or marchers in protests, those involved with the movement didn’t imagine being in that position ten years earlier. Gwendolyn Patton’s life centered around Detroit, Michigan, until she came to Montgomery in 1956 to visit relatives and found herself in the midst of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. That experience sparked a lifetime of civil rights activism, as Patton became a member of the Montgomery Improvement Association, supported the Freedom Riders, organized in Tuskegee, and participated in the Selma-to-Montgomery march. Patton came to call Montgomery her home, and the movement and its legacy became the most important aspect of her life. My Race to Freedom is the story of how a young woman found her voice and used it to help her community.