Carol Ruth Silver: Rabble Rousing Long Before OLPC



While we may all know Carol Ruth Silver from her One Laptop Per Child exploits, she actually has a much longer history of change. Here is an interview of Carol by the San Francisco Chronicle around the Freedom Riders of the early 1960's:

Q: What is your definition of a Freedom Rider?

A: The Freedom Rides started in May of 1961 in Washington, D.C., when a bunch of white and black people got together on a Greyhound bus to challenge segregation in the South. The bus was burned in Alabama. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) put out a call for people to continue the rides.

Q: What was your job?

A: On June 2, 1961, I got on a bus in New York bound for Jackson. The bus went to Nashville, where we wrote our wills. When we arrived in Jackson, on June 7, I went into the bus station waiting room marked "Colored." I took three steps and was arrested and transported to the city jail.

Q: How long were you there?

A: My sentence was six months, but I bailed out after 40 days.

Q: Was it worth it?

A: We were doing something to change the world in a very direct and dangerous way. Just like the kids in Libya with their Facebook apps are changing the world, we changed the world.

Q: Latest project?

A: I am going to Ghazni, Afghanistan, in support of the Hayward-Ghazni Sister City Committee, which I co-founded in 2004, and to promote the extension of OLPC (One Laptop per Child.) Last time I was there I helped hand out 700 of these laptops in Kandahar.

Q: How did you get involved?

A: I had gone to Afghanistan directly after the American incursion there, in 2002, to try to see what kind of help Americans might want to give after we had finished mashing them into smithereens. This is my fifth trip.

Q: What would you buy if you could?

A: Three million laptop computers for the little girls in Afghanistan.


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1 Comment

Cool. She was on the SF Board of Supervisors when I lived there. Good to read about her background and current activities.