Friendship Nine Talk Civil Rights Efforts

ROCK HILL, SC — It’s been 55 years since the Friendship Nine’s arrests, but more than a half-century later, their message lives on.

The group served jail time instead of paying a $100 bail for sitting at an all-white lunch counter in Rock Hill back in 1961.

Friday, the surviving members talked about their experience and current civil rights efforts during an event at the Emmett Scott Center.

“It seems to me things is going backwards a little bit because of all the violence that we’re having, especially from the police department and other areas and communities,” said Friendship Nine member Willie McCleod.

Last year the arrest records of the Friendship Nine were vacated. The nephew of the judge who originally sentenced the group overturned their conviction.