Civil Rights Activist shares struggle with Mid-South - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Civil Rights Activist shares struggle with Mid-South

Ruby Sales is from Columbus, Alabama but Tuesday night she gave a speech in Memphis; a speech that will take listeners back to some of the most turbulent struggles of the Civil Rights Movement.

Sales toured the National Civil Rights Museum Tuesday. For her, it was a look back at her life. "I was part of a movement that literally changed the heart and soul of America that broke down barriers," said Sales.

But Sales and others who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Junior paid a high price. "Oh yes, there was a song in Alabama that said there's murder on the road in Alabama, yeah, there's murder on the road in Alabama, yeah," added Sales.

Sales, who was 16-years-old at the time, said it didn't take long for her and others to experience violence.

The year was 1963 when she, Minister Jon Daniels and others tried to buy sodas at a Alabama store.

Sales added, "And then he was shot in the back and fell down in the dirt."

Sales said the Massachusetts Minister jumped in front of her to take the bullet fired by Tom Coleman. A jury acquitted Coleman of manslaughter.

Sales said the trial affected her mentally and physically, "After I testified I was mute I could not speak for a year I lost my voice."

Sales got her voice back and now she runs an organization called The Spirit House Project to continue her fight for civil rights.

Sales has also started an inner city mission dedicated to Jon Daniels, the man who saved her life.

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