Viola Liuzzo is a little known white Civil Rights worker. She dedicated her live to being an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement marching beside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, as well as his wife Coretta. Her story is one of courage and bravery as she packs her suitcase, loads her car and says goodbye to her husband and five children on her way to Selma, AL to march. This march was the same and yet very different from others. Coming on the heels of the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson civil rights workers converged on Selma for a march. It was to be peaceful but resulted in what is now historically known as “Bloody Sunday.” Viola had a job to do, she used her car to shuttle the civil rights workers to their boarding houses as well as to locations where cars and busses were converging to take people home. But on this night, she did not make it. She was gunned down in her car while doing what she felt was her job to do, helping her black counterparts gain the rights that she was born with. This is a beautiful story of love and loss realizing that there are and have always been people out there that are willing to stand next to someone that is very different than them and risk their lives all in the name of freedom. Sometimes these people are complete strangers out on the protest lines, that become the lines of injustice the person next to you becomes your brother and sister no matter what they look like. *This is fan fair and is not autobiographical information.
Female- My Last Ride: Selma, AL 1965
(Scene opens with Viola a woman in her late 30’s packing a suitcase. Her presence is that of a solid, grounded woman who has a voice that she is not afraid to use. Her hair is perfectly placed, and she wears a skirt, stockings, short heels, button up short sleeve shirt with every piece in its place. Her representation of the time is clear. The year is 1965.)
(Off) Anthony…Anthony can you make sure that the car has a jack in the trunk for the spare tire? I just want to make sure all of my bases are covered. (Continues to pack then addresses the audience.) “All of my bases are covered,” my daddy used to say that to us all the time, “Girls make sure you have your bases covered.” He was a big ole baseball fan. (Laughs) I can only imagine how disappointed he was when he and my momma had two beautiful little girls. Oh, my Daddy. He taught me so many things that I didn’t even know he was teaching until they came into play. It was like he just knew how to make life make sense. (Beat) At least with most things. Right now, as I pack this suitcase, get my car loaded up and prepare to say goodbye to my five children the world just doesn’t make any kind of sense to me. It hasn’t for many years. I don’t understand, when Dr. King calls on white people to support the struggle of the black people (Beat) me, I pack my suitcase. I’m out the door ready to lead the charge for change. But others…others do nothing. It’s some kind of privilege we live in to sit back on our southern porches sippin’ peach tea without a care in the world… the lies we tell ourselves. We should all care. We should all be disgusted. Even my Daddy can’t explain it, why is it that the whites get to have everything and in that they don’t want anyone else to have, well, anything? Now, that’s what I need answered.