James Zwerg's physical wounds healed after he was attacked by an Alabama mob, but the emotional wounds festered.
Excerpt from John Blake's 2004 book "Children of the Movement." given below. Originial article can be found here.
Zwerg's parents had forsaken him for joining the civil rights movement. That same night, he had written a letter that was to be handed to them in case he was killed. It explained his decision to join the Freedom Riders.
Zwerg called his mother to tell her where he was going.
"Don't go. Don't go," she said. "You can't do this to your father."
"I have no choice. I have to," he said.
"You killed your father," his mother replied. Then she hung up.
The Greyhound bus doors hissed open. Zwerg had volunteered to go first. The mob swarmed him as he stepped off the bus, yelling, "Nigger lover! Nigger lover!"
Then, as the mob grabbed him, Zwerg closed his eyes and bowed his head to pray. "The Lord is my light and salvation, of whom shall I fear ... "
The mob dragged him away.
Zwerg tells the story behind the photo
Many thanks to my friend Cindy for sharing this story from the Civil Rights movement in America. There may have been many heroes like Zwerg who gave up their safe life to move towards unknown and sometimes as in his case sad future. But in their heart they never gave up hope and fought for what matters to us all : Freedom.
My heart is with Zwerg and others like him who help the world become a better place for all.