Reflections on Dorie Ladner

Dorie Ladner
Dorie Ladner

By Bruce Hartford

Dorie added the following comment on Wazir Peacock interview, 2001

Dorie Ladner: “Reading the above and reflecting on my first meeting with Wazir reminded me that he was one of my heroes. I remember the day I first met him when his father and Amzie Moore introduced him to Bob Moses in 1962. Amzie and Mr. Peacock were speaking in a language and making signs that I didn’t understand. I later learned that they were Mason terms and signs.

I was a Tougaloo student, having transferred there after being expelled from Jackson State for leading protests in support of the Tougaloo Nine in March of 1961. Colia Lidell and I, two Black women, joined the Freedom Riders in Jackson in the late spring of 1961 and remained with the Movement in Mississippi along with other Freedom Riders such as James Bevel, Diane Nash, Paul and Catherine Brooks, Lester McKinney, Bernard Lafayette, Tim Jenkins, and others.

Colia was from Jackson, she worked with Medgar Evers and was president of the North Jackson NAACP Youth Council. I was from Hattiesburg MS. She and I were drawn to be Freedom Riders because they had brought us a message that I had been searching for all my life since the death of Emmit Till. So we started attending meetings with the Freedom Riders who had begun to teach nonviolence, civil disobedience, and community organizing. In 1962 I began working with SNCC in the Mississippi Delta doing voter registration and community organizing. That’s where I first met Wazir.”

Women & Men in the Freedom Movement Discussion, 2004

Wazir Peacock: “So we had some tough women with us. They were really tough, like Dorie Ladner. We’d be at Amzie Moore’s home, and she’d come and crawl in bed with me, and I knew not to touch her, — not in any kind of way. I was her sleeping partner. Nobody else. I knew better. It was just an understanding. It was quite clear. We were partners in the struggle, working together. That was the experience I had with women in SNCC. That was my experience.”

Visit for more historical reflections