Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Long After Southern Killing, Lines Converge in Queens

Long After Southern Killing, Lines Converge in Queens
Published: June 1, 2005

BOB KAPSIS knew him in life, Jerry Mitchell knows him in death, and through their vastly different encounters with him, a martyr for civil rights becomes a young man again, flesh and blood. To them he is Andy, not Andrew.

Mr. Kapsis befriended Andy Goodman in the fall of 1961, when both were freshmen at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.....

Then Andy decided to leave Wisconsin. He missed New York...

The two teenagers briefly corresponded, then went their separate ways - destined, it seemed, to grow old in different parts of the country, where now and then they might lean back and wonder. Whatever happened to Bob? Whatever happened to Andy?

Mr. Kapsis was still in Madison when he learned what had happened to Andy. It was in all the papers: Andrew Goodman, civil rights worker, murdered in Mississippi at the age of 20.

Andy had returned to New York and enrolled at Queens College, where he studied anthropology. In the summer of 1964, he joined other volunteers in an organized effort to register blacks to vote in Mississippi, where black homes and businesses were routinely firebombed and the Ku Klux Klan enjoyed a menacing presence.....