Sherrod's father was shot to death by a white farmer.
One night in 1965, "her father, Hosie Miller, a black man and a deacon at Thankful Baptist Church [in rural Georgia], was shot to death by a white farmer in what ostensibly was a dispute over a few cows," reports CNN. "The all-white grand jury didn't bring charges against the shooter." The then Shirley Miller was 17 at the time.
"That summer, when she and several other blacks went to the county courthouse to register to vote, the county sheriff blocked the door and even pushed her husband-to-be, Lester Sherrod, down the stairs," CNN continues. "Activists used that incident to get a restraining order against the sheriff so blacks could register to vote, she said."
On Tuesday, Shirely Sherrod was a name in a headline. Now that we're getting to know her back story, which turns out to be painful and personal account of the Jim Crow South, the lesson she hoped to impart in her NAACP speech -- the full version -- is only more poignant.
Read more at CNN.