History Made At Rock Hill Diner Now Written In Children's Book - myfoxcarolinas.com

History Made At Rock Hill Diner Now Written In Children's Book

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There was a time when David Williamson, Jr. sat down at this counter in Rock Hill when not only was he not served, but he was hauled off to jail.

He was part of the Friendship 9 – a group of Friendship Junior College Students in 1961 whom decided to stage a sit in.

Instead of paying their bail, they stayed in jail for 30 days and started the practice of “Jail, No Bail!”

What he didn’t know then was that he would be making history.

“We used a strategy that had never been used before,” said Williamson. “We went to jail instead of paying the bail. I think that kind of galvanized the situation and gave the movement a boost.”

His name and the names of the other eight friends are etched in the bar stools at Five and Dine so that their story is never forgotten. But one local children’s book writer waned their story to go beyond the lunch counter.

“I felt compelled to try to put those words of how they felt and what they went through on paper in a way children could understand,” said author Kimberly Johnson.

Last week, her book, “No Fear For Freedom: The Story Of the Friendship 9” was released, with illustrations by Vanessa Thompson.

The book tells the story of the Friendship 9 in a way children can understand, with the option on the sides of the pages for adults to have a more thorough account of that day.

“I cried,” said Johnson. “It was the first book to me I’ve ever written because it was the most important book I’ve ever written.”

You can find the book on Amazon.com or simplycreativeworks.com.

All proceeds from the book go to general scholarship funds of the Friendship 9’s choice.

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