Photo credit: Clair Popkin, 2017

In 1966 Tom Houck was working with Hosea Williams and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Birmingham, Alabama when he met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Born in Boston, Houck moved with his family to Florida but was expelled from his Jacksonville, Florida high school for participating in the Selma-Montgomery march. Houck remained committed to civil rights work going on to work for the NAACP and the SCLC in the South, Washington D.C., New York, and Chicago. After being arrested numerous times for non-violent civil disobedience, Houck along with several other plaintiffs filed suit against Jefferson County, Alabama jails in 1966 resulting in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Lee v. Washington (1968) desegregating prisons across America. From 1966 until Dr. King’s assassination, Houck was a personal aide and driver for Dr. King. In the early 1970s, Houck worked for The Voter Education Project (VEP) and for many political campaigns including Andrew Young and John Lewis. For the past thirty years Tom Houck was a presence in the Atlanta media community hosting a radio show, appearing on television, and as a contributing journalist. Today Houck is the founder of Civil Rights Tours passing along his stories and experiences of working alongside Dr. King.  

 

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