Even if you’ve never met her, you may have seen the photo of a young Mamie Chalmers and two of her classmates pinned to the wall by a fire hose used by the Birmingham, Alabama police department during an anti-segregation protest. The iconic photo, taken 50 years ago this May, has been included in text books and civil rights documentaries—but it wasn’t until earlier this year that the 71-year-old Chalmers, of Detroit, MI, was properly identified as the young woman in the photo.
Interviewed for Comcast’s online series “His Dream, Our Stories: The Legacy of the March on Washington,” Chalmers recounted her experiences being jailed, beaten, and facing the firehose in the photo–which left her deaf in one ear. She also recalled attending the March on Washington 50 years ago. “I was 22 at the time,” she said. “I saw an opportunity that I needed to participate in the demonstrations.”
Watch her interview below.
To see more commentary and archival footage, including 80 unique and personal interviews with civic leaders, elders, clergy, and activists, visit HisDreamOurStories.com.