Ga. Black Caucus taps Reese
Published 10:10 pm Friday, November 9, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) has announced that Shirley Green Reese of Americus has been nominated by the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus as one of its 2018 State Nation Builders.
The Nation Builder Awards will be presented at the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference on Nov. 30 in New York City.
Green Reese is being recognized for her tireless efforts in bringing light to the 1963 Leesburg Stockade Girls, a group of 15 young, black girls from Americus, herself among that number, who were held in a filthy jail without proper food, water, or hygiene for a month. The girls were ages 12 to 15 at the time.
On Sept. 14, 1963, the front-page headline of the Chicago Defender Newspaper read, “Kids Sleeping on Jail Floor.” During the same period, Danny Lyon, a white SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) staff photographer from New York City, took the pictures of the girls in the Stockade and brought national attention to their plight, and they were finally released.
It would be 52 years before the story was finally given the attention it deserved. Reese is largely responsible for that.