Renown civil right attorney Solomon S. Seay, Jr., speaks out about his new memoir Jim Crow and Me: Stories from My Life as a Civil Rights Lawyer on WBHM Birmingham radio’s Tapestry with Greg Bass, WTSU Troy radio’s Community Focus with Carolyn Hutcheson, and “Talk With Tonya” with Tonya Terry on WSFA Montgomery television.
In the interviews, Mr. Seay discusses his experiences as one of the first African American lawyers in Montgomery, Alabama. He describes for Greg Bass one experience in 1957 where he represented a group of black men wrongfully imprisoned in Chilton County. While at the jail, the sheriff’s wife accused Mr. Seay of insulting her, and Mr. Seay feared the armed sheriff might kill him before he was allowed to leave. Mr. Seay recounts in Jim Crow and Me, “Fewer than ten black lawyers practiced in the entire state of Alabama at the time. Along with Fred Gray and Orzell Billingsley, I stayed busy in Chilton County for months before we succeeded in getting every single case dropped. I also managed not to take on the sheriff … I have never been afraid to die [but] to die for nothing–that’s a different ball game.”
Said Carolyn Hutcheson, “Mr. Seay is a fascinating guest and a natural storyteller. What a great opportunity, too, to set the record straight on some of the Civil Rights era happenings.”
In Jim Crow and Me, Mr. Seay chronicles both heartening and heartbreaking episodes of his first-hand struggle to achieve the actualization of civil rights. With an eloquence befitting one of Alabama’s most celebrated attorneys, Seay manages to not only relay his personal struggles with much fervor and introspection, but to acknowledge, in each brief piece, the greater societal struggle in which his story is necessarily framed. Jim Crow and Me is more than just a memoir of one man’s battle against injustice–it is an accessible testament to the precarious battle against civil injustice that continues even today.