Campbell, Pauling, Izutsu, Browne and Mrs. Springel hold sign from Hawaii which was carried in march.
Hope Triumphed Over Fear, Says Honolulu Man Of March
By BIRCH STORM
Advertiser Staff Writer
Fear walked 50 miles of Alabama highway with the 300 civil rights marchers, but hope got them to Montgomery, Charles Campbell, a Honolulu man who made the march, said yesterday.
“We kept watching the bushes and the trees off the road, hoping against hope that no one was there,” said Campbell.
Campbell and University of Hawaii student leader Glenn Izutsu won two of the coveted places in the marching file of 300. The marchers walked three abreast on two-lane U.S. 80—Campbell called it “the Gaza Strip”—with the men on the outside and the women on the inside.
Campbell said his lesson from the Selma-Montgomery march was: “People of both races in Alabama and of both races in the U.S. have totally underestimated the concerns of people of both races for equal justice.”
The march, said Campbell, “Has joined the Negro in Alabama much closer to the vote.”
Campbell has known fear before. He knew it in Daytona Beach, Fla. where a gang of whites ordered him to walk on the street farthest from the beach. He knew it in his native Durham, N.C., where he felt the blows of law officers when he was slow to comply with their directions.
He felt its presence on the march, but no blows fell on him and no violence was exerted against him.
Campbell remembers many people from the march.
He remembers a white woman from Detroit named Viola Liuzzo. She asked him for the clover lei he was wearing. He told her, “You can have it if you’ll share it with the other 100 people who have asked for it.” He invited her to visit Hawaii, and she said she would.
He never saw her again after that meeting, for she was killed by bullets from a speeding car hours after the march had reached Montgomery.
He remembers a Negro family in Selma named Hall.
Campbell was standing on a Selma street with four white men from Seattle, California and Washington, D.C. They hailed a passing car driven by a Negro and asked for a lift.
The Negro drove them to his home and fed them a fried chicken dinner.
“We ate all they had prepared and they asked us if we were still hungry. The man from Washington said he was, and the Halls immediately prepared more food.”
He remembers the reception that Hawaii’s five-man delegation got, but words fail him when he tries to describe it.
“The reception to us was so warm it was out of this world,” he said.
He remembers a family named Whittle in Montgomery. He stayed with them two nights. The Whittle house is next to a church where two civil rights groups were headquartered.
On Campbell’s first night in the Whittle house his sleep was interrupted by a squad of men who searched the church for a bomb that a caller had reported.
He remembers the Rev. Martin Luther King—for his amazement when he was presented a lei by Campbell.
He remembers King’s power—even when he wasn’t there. The day after King left to make a speech in Cleveland, Campbell remembers: “King was still there but his body was in Cleveland.”
He remembers folk singer Joan Baez. She autographed his fluorescent orange vest the marchers wore in Montgomery, and she gave him a plastic rain hat.
He remembers Alabama Whites who swore and shouted at him.
“We were dealing with the lunatic fringe in Alabama; not all white people in the South are like that. Some whites may want to support us, but they are properly and justifiably scared of helping us.”
He remembers the chilling presence of the Ku Klux Klan, even though they were never seen.
He knows the Klan’s rule, too: “The Klan knows no color line when it comes to the enemy.”
He remembers fellow marchers Glenn Izutsu, who kept up the march despite suffering pain and cold.
Best of all, he remembers the 300 who marched and the thousands who saw them off at Selma and greeted them at Montgomery.
“Everyone who went to Selma knew they might not come back. What they did was far above and beyond the call of duty.”
Advertiser Photos by Jerrry Y. Chong
Shoes Cambell used in freedom march.
(Star-Bulletin, 3/28/1965, p. A4)