Viola Liuzzo-Write That I…

Viola Liuzzo-Write That I...

Joy Miles, poet

In Ms. Rucker’s Intro to the Civil Rights Movement class, students memorialized the legacies of historical actors from the Black Freedom Struggle by using the poetic prompt, “Write that I…” See other poems in the “Student Work” section of the Lion’s Roar.

When you write my story write that i was

a white women write that i was

murdered at 39

Write that I was born on April 11, 1925

Raised in California Washington

County Pennsylvania


When you write my story

Write that I was a white civil rights activist

Tell them that I fought for


African American people

To have the right to vote


When you write my story

Write that i was brutally murdered by the KKK

Tell them that I was the ONLY white

Women murdered because

I choose to stand up for African

Americans and their rights


When you write my story write that i was murdered

On March 25th on U.S. Route 80


During the Civil Rights Movement

Tell them that I attempted to vote tell them

That I was involved in the SCLC


When you write my story write that I that

I was one of the people who marched in Selma

Tell them that I gave my life for what I believed in

Write that I believe that people should

Not get judged by the color of their skin
Write that that was why I joined the movement


When you tell write my story

Write that I was inspired by the

Mississippi Freedom Summer

Project to register Black voters

Write that I also participated

In marches in Detroit to  

Demonstrate solidarity

With voting rights activism

In Selma


Write that when the KKK planed

To kill me I also had a 19 year old

In the car named Leroy Monton

Write that the only reason hes

Still alive is because he pretended

To be dead this is how it was

For not only me but many

Other civil rights activist


So when I say hate hurts the

Haters not the hated, it’s because

When I was murdered by the KKK

Those men were convicted

On federal charges and they got

To spend ONLY 10 years in jail