2013/04/29 — Ninety four year old Betsy Ann Eichelberger, the oldest member of the Winston County Branch NAACP, attended the branch’s 33rd Annual Freedom Fund Banquet and was honored with an interview by Mark McMillan, Director of the Economic Development & Community Partnerships, of the Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, which is located in Brooklyn, NY.
Mrs. Eichelberger shared that she was shaken by the death of Medgar Evers when he was assassinated in June of 1963. This was a turbulent time in the life of African Americans. However, this act of violence and many activities that followed helped to bring about the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 contained provisions to help black voters to register but was mostly ineffective until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. The Voters Rights Act enabled millions of previously disfranchised African Americans in the South to vote. Mrs. Eichelberger became #211 to register to vote in Winston County, according to the Winston County Voters League records. Mrs. Eichelberger shared a story of discrimination against her while working in the parts department on the production line at Spartus Clock Factory. Her firing was proven unjust. She was rehired and later retired from Spartus.
In attendance with Mrs. Eichelberger were five generations of her family (including her): daughters, Elmetra Patterson, Janice Hopkins (Tommy); son, Clifford Eichelberger (Nancy); grandchildren, Donna Hopkins, Lorenda Eichelberger, Montana and Asia Eichelberger; great grandson, Jahson Jones; and great great granddaughters, Jayana and Tiana Mei.