Lezlie Bishop ’66 recalls college trip to Mississippi in recent Forbes interview

Lezlie Bishop ’66 is a retired teacher and public relations professional. These days, however, she is more commonly known as the mother of actor Stephen Bishop. Recently, she and Stephen were interviewed by Forbes contributor Lea Lane for an article posted June 17 titled, “Jim Crow to Now, Traveling as a Person of Color: Actor Stephen Bishop and His Mom Tell It Like It Is.”

In the interview, Lezlie recounts a trip to Jackson, Mississippi. “In 1964, I joined a group of five students from Ripon College in Wisconsin on an educational exchange program in Mississippi. I was the only black student, and the only female. We were followed by state police constantly once we passed Illinois.

“We were walking down the street in Jackson and my red-haired boyfriend had his hand, protectively, on the small of my back. Suddenly a policeman appeared, enraged: ‘We don’t do things like that down here! You take your hands off that girl!’

“Another white student was thrown into a paddy wagon for walking down the street with a female student from a local black college. Our professor had to bail him out of jail.”

The full interview can be read and heard here.

(Photo: Lezlie Bishop ’66 and her son, Stephen Bishop at Columbia Pictures Premiere of “Moneyball.” Photo by ERIC CHARBONNEAU/INVISION/AP)

 


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