Tent City, a settlement on black-owned property near Route 80 in Lowndes County, formed in 1965 for sharecroppers who were kicked off their land for voter registration activity. Tents were set up on the site to accommodate participants of the Selma to Montgomery march. Timothy Mays, a former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worker and member of the Black Panthers in Lowndes County, and others worked to make sure Tent City inhabitants got fed. Mays also was instrumental in helping many of them find new housing. Mays became famous to the world on March 7, 1965 in Selma, Alabama. He was among the civil rights marchers who set out that day to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge and were beaten and tear gassed by Alabama State Troopers. News cameras were there when a State Trooper clubbed and knocked down Mays, who was carrying an American flag. Mays didn't drop the flag but held on to as a symbol of the injustice he and others had endured for the cause of freedom. Despite offers to buy the American flag for as much as $50,000, Mays would not sell it for any price. Instead, he promised to donate the flag to the Selma-Montgomery Historic Trail Interpretive Center. The flag and other of Mays memorabilia from the Civil Rights Movement can be seen at the center.
For more information visit:
Route 80, Selma-to-Montgomery Historic Trail
White Hall, AL 36040
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