A 'Real' Story of Fighting for Voting Rights

A section of the toilet paper letter written by Real to document her arrest in Louisiana

A section of the "toilet paper letter" written by Real to document her arrest in Louisiana -- the only paper available to write on. Brian Bull, WPR hide caption

itoggle caption Brian Bull, WPR

Testimony Behind Bars

Miriam Real, a volunteer with the Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.), was jailed in Louisiana during a voter registration drive in September 1963.

Real — then Miriam Feingold — was at the center of a protest that pitted civil rights demonstrators against local police in Plaquemine Parish, who were cracking down hard.

Real was arrested and sought to document what she saw using the materials at hand. She ended up writing a long narrative of her protest and arrest on a roll of toilet paper in her jail cell.

Wisconsin Public Radio's Brian Bull offers a sound portrait of Real's story, in her own words.

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