She was killed in Selma in 1965. A new Detroit memorial tells her story
The 7-foot, two-sided monument has “Sisters in Life - Sisters in Struggle” above photos of two women.
Viola Liuzzo was a white mother who was killed during the civil rights movement. Her best friend Sarah Evans helped raise Liuzzo’s kids after her death.
The other side of the monument in Detroit reads “It’s Everybody’s Fight” and has a LIFE magazine cover as well as names of other Michiganders who, like Liuzzo, headed down to Selma in 1965 to register voters.
While driving an activist from Selma to Montgomery, Liuzzo was murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Officials say she was the only known white woman killed during the civil rights movement.
The Rev. Wendell Anthony is the president of the Detroit branch of the NAACP.
“Viola Liuzzo died at the age of 39. Martin died at the age of 39. Malcolm died at the age of 39. Their lives were not given. Their lives were taken. They took their lives for us,” Anthony said during a ceremony honoring Liuzzo and Evans.
The memorial is at Viola Liuzzo Park, 20087 Winthrop, on Detroit's west side.
Evans' great grandson, Tyrone Green, Jr., spoke at the unveiling.
“I didn't know what type of legacy that she was leaving behind for us. I wish I could have asked two more questions," he said. "I wish I would have sat down with her and had conversations.”
His father, Tyrone Green Sr., also spoke.
“When God put two angels together, can’t nothing but something good come out of that," he said. "They knew what love was.”
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