A Town, Activism and Anne Braden

There is something about Whitesburg, in far Eastern Kentucky, that encourages activism. So I was happy to go there in early June to watch a new documentary about Anne Braden and her role in the Civil Rights Movement.


Anne Braden: Southern Patriot (1924-2006) — 3 minute sample from Anne Lewis on Vimeo.

When Anne spoke at rallies or talked to organizer, what she said about not being able to organize blacks because she was not black but she could organize white people made so much sense and put her in a position that made her equal. So brilliant and so right.

I don’t know if we have anyone of Anne Braden’s caliber during this time in our history. I think people go out and look for causes, something they can get involved in to make an impact but Anne was different. 

She was born with this gift of seeing people, all people, as equal. She knew at a very young age she was meant to work tirelessly towards achieving equality and wanting no glory or accolades in return. 

The film is wonderful, heartbreaking, hopeful, and a reminder of times, places, people and events we should never forget.

Betty Dotson-Lewis is a West Virginia writers and frequent Yonder correspondent.