Along the way he was harassed by angry whites, befriended by a dog who followed him, forced to walk in his socks due to blisters on his feet, slept in an abandoned school bus, and made a few surprising friends along the way.
After only three days, Bill Moore was shot dead on an isolated country road in Alabama.
President Kennedy denounced the killing and within one week of the murder, a diverse group of five young white and five young black Freedom Walkers volunteered to finish Moore’s walk. They were accompanied by seven observers.
The media and angry locals tagged along. The men were frequently assaulted as the police refused to intervene and the local and federal government refused to provide protection for the walkers.
Alabama Governor George Wallace threatened to arrest the men if they entered his state.
When the walkers crossed into Alabama, they were arrested and sent to Kilby State prison. Their arrest made the front page of the New York Times. With the men in jail, the failure of several more attempts, and the environment deemed too dangerous to continue, the freedom walk to deliver Moore’s letter was abruptly suspended.
Five months later, a grand jury refused to indict Moore’s suspected killer. Though the case remained open, for all pragmatic purposes, the investigation ended.
Forty-five years later, in 2008, Ellen Johnson, president of a political cause organization, learned about Moore’s story, and outraged by his murder, committed to finish the ill-fated walk and deliver the letter to the Governor of Mississippi. She was accompanied by the surviving Freedom Walkers.
Interweaving interviews of participants and historians with archival footage and images, the documentary Until Justice Rolls Down: Bill Moore & The Freedom Walkers explores issues still relevant today: inequality, human rights, and the ongoing fight against injustice.
1963 Freedom Walkers
- Bill Hanson
- Bob Zellner
- Carver “Chico” Neblett
- Dr. Richard Haley
- Eric Weinberger
- Jessie Harris
- Robert Gore
- Sam Shirah
- Winston Lockett
- Zev Alovny
- Avon Rollins
- Casey Hayden
- Dorothy Miller
- Eric Rainey
- James Forman
- Landy McNair
- Willie Ricks
Documentary Mission & Action Strategy
The goal of the documentary is to inspire audiences to TAKE ACTION and affect change at the individual level as well as to join together with people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs to work for a common goal.
The filmmakers plan to collaborate with strategic partners to screen the film for educational institutions, organizations, and communities, and to create material to support audiences to easily take effective action through:
- Screening and Educational Guides with Discussion Questions
- Resource Lists
- How and Where to Connect with Organizations
- “Where to Learn More” Information Sheets
- Event Planning Guides (designed for any group to successfully plan and host a screening of the film)