Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the book My C. T. Vivian Story: A Powerful Flame That Burned Brightly by Living Now Bronze Medal-winning author Harold Michael Harvey
I first became aware of C. T. Vivian, February 19, 1965, on the CBS Evening News. Dallas County, Alabama Sheriff Jim Clark sucker-punched him after Vivian told Sheriff Clark that he thought he was as big a racist as Hitler. In the next breath, Vivian told Clark that he was not as big a racist as Hitler. I was 14 years old, perplexed by Jim Crow, and worried that Blacks, including myself, would never be free in America. A never-dying Jim Crowism was the daunting thought of my youth.