Student Activism and Civil Rights in Mississippi
Protest Politics and the Struggle for Racial Justice, 1960-1965
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Cover, Title Page, Copyright
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James Marshall undertook this study in the 1960s, when he was a Yale undergraduate and I taught American history there. I had been a teacher at Spelman College in Atlanta from 1961 to 1964 and, no doubt because of this experience...
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My acknowledgments have grown over the years as this project moved from Yale College and Law School, to the civil rights organizations SNCC and CORE, to the American Studies and History programs at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv...
Cities and Towns in Mississippi, by County
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My objective is to trace the development of student support of the civil rights movement in Mississippi from 1960 to 1965, along with the growth of protest, parallel politics, and the resultant parallel political organizations. White...
1. The Incipient Movement
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The dilemma for Mississippi African Americans was whether to remain in “their place” and accept their lot or to leave that position and seek those constitutional rights denied to them by Mississippi’s closed society. If they chose...
2. The Decision to Go into Voter Registration
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The decision to go into voter registration work in Mississippi was the result of an internal debate within the student movement. Intermittent discussions lasted throughout the summer of 1961 and failed to convince all workers of the correct...
3. Warming Up Mississippi: The Movement Becomes a Local Thing
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In the winter of 1961–62, Jackson, Mississippi, was a busy planning center for the spring and summer of 1962, and the Mississippi Free Press began to appear there.1 The movement saw the necessity of forming a battle plan for the coming...
4. Commitment Aborted
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The Mississippi movement’s decision to work on voter registration was influenced by both the federal government and the foundation world. By early 1963 the early fears of the direct action group that the movement was being...
5. The Stalemated Movement
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We have seen that the near-fatal shooting of Jimmy Travis on February 28, 1963, drew voter registration workers from all of the civil rights groups in the state to Greenwood in early March in order to launch a frontal attack...
6. The Birth of Protest Politics
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Met everywhere with apparent failure in its efforts to register Mississippi African Americans, the movement began to think in terms of a new strategy to soften up the closed society. Direct action protests and voter registration...
7. Freedom Summer, Part I
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The Mississippi Summer Project operated on two levels. On the one hand there were programs aimed at the immediate problems within the state, and on the other there were programs that represented an attempt to dramatize those problems...
8. Freedom Summer, Part II: Freedom Schools and Community Centers
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Douglass’s words, although written in 1845, penetrate to the heart of the modern “slavery” endured by Mississippi African Americans, a slavery of ignorance.1 Throughout the early years of the student-supported civil rights...
9. The Political Organization of Protest Politics, Part I
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The other programs created within the framework of the Summer Project of 1964 were those which focused on the creation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) in early 1964, as well as such offshoots as the Mississippi Freedom...
10. The Political Organization of Protest Politics, Part II: The Second Freedom Vote and the Breakup of COFO
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The second Freedom Vote was in many ways different from the first. Outwardly, they were both protest, parallel elections held to demonstrate to the nation that Mississippi African Americans would vote if given the opportunity...
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By 1965 the movement’s fight seemed to be the nation’s. This condition passed quickly, however, as the country and the student-supported movement became caught up in the controversy over the meaning of Black...
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Appendix: The Power of Protection: The Federal Government
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For those who were in Mississippi with the civil rights movement, or for those who were African American Mississippians and ventured from “their place,” the paramount question in their minds was survival. It was not a question...
Notes on Sources
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Initially I answered the question of how and in what manner the civil rights movement developed in Mississippi by reading sources that gave only the general outlines of events. The problem I had to confront was that much of the material...
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Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2013