Issaquena – Organizations

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

Considered one of the most integral organizations in the 1960s, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced “Snick”) functioned to offer young people a voice during the Civil Rights Movement. SNCC was founded during the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) hosted at Shaw University in April of 1960. The meeting was organized by Ella Baker, and SNCC was adamant during its formation that it would function separately from other Civil Rights organizations to facilitate their own projects and strategies.

SNCC was most prominent in states such as Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Maryland as they played major roles in the early 1960s by participating in various sit-ins and the freedom rides of 1961. The organization shifted focus in 1962-1966 to increase voter registration for people of color, a project that was initiated in McComb, MS. SNCC also participated in the March on Washington in 1963, the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964, and were advocates for the formation of the Mississippi Democratic Party in 1964.

After the Democratic Convention of 1964, a dichotomy began to emerge as members began to grapple with the ideology of non-violence as a core value of the organization. One group favored a nonviolent approach while others began to favor black power and Marxism. Under the leadership of Stokely Carmichael as the chairmen of SNCC from 1966-1967, SNCC pulled away from its philosophy of nonviolence. Other members began to question how much longer SNCC could stay nonviolent and remain an effective organization in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1969, SNCC was officially renamed the Student National Coordinating Committee, abandoning their guiding principle of nonviolence. SNCC largely disappeared by the early 1970s due to a decline in funding, ambiguity amongst leadership, and disconnect in organizational philosophy.

History.com (2009). SNCC. Retrieved from: http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/sncc

King Encyclopedia (2017). Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Retrieved from: http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_student_nonviolent_coordinating_committee_sncc/

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) of Issaquena

SNCC began in 1960 as an organization of students concerned with the lack of equality and social justice in the United States. SNCC organized local volunteers for protests and voter registration drives, among other things, in Issaquena County.

Source:

“SNCC: 1960-1966.”
http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/

MFDP of Issaquena

The MFDP grew out of protest against the lack of diversity among the party elite of the Mississippi Democratic Party. Several Issaquena County leaders, including Unita Blackwell, Henry Sias, and Minnie Ripley, were active in the MFDP.

Sources:

“Council of Federated Organizations (COFO).”King Encyclopedia.
http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/about_king/encyclopedia/cofo.htm

“An Oral History with Honorable Unita Blackwell.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1977.
http://www.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/blackwell.htm

“Barfootin’.”Unita Blackwell and JoAnne Prichard Morris. Crown Publishers. 2006.

“From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice.”Thomas F. Jackson. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2006.

“National Council of Churches.”http://home.wlu.edu/~connerm/AfAmStudies/Contemporary%20Culture%20Project/Religion&Culture/ncc.html

“Divine Agitators: The Delta Ministry and Civil Rights in Mississippi.”Mark Newman. University of Georgia Press. 2004.

“Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi.”John Dittmer. University of Illinois Press. 1994.

“The Issaquena Genealogy and History Project: W.E. Mollison.”http://www.rootsweb.com/~msissaq2/mollison.html

“An Oral History with Mrs. Minnie Ripley.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1979. http://anna.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/ohripleymp.html

“SNCC: 1960-1966.”
http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/

COFO of Issaquena

COFO was a coalition of organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) under the direction of Bob Moses. COFO registered black residents of Issaquena County beginning in 1962 to vote in the 1964 presidential election.

Sources:

“Council of Federated Organizations (COFO).”King Encyclopedia.
http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/about_king/encyclopedia/cofo.htm

“An Oral History with Honorable Unita Blackwell.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1977.
http://www.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/blackwell.htm

“Barfootin’.”Unita Blackwell and JoAnne Prichard Morris. Crown Publishers. 2006.

“From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice.”Thomas F. Jackson. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2006.

“National Council of Churches.”http://home.wlu.edu/~connerm/AfAmStudies/Contemporary%20Culture%20Project/Religion&Culture/ncc.html

“Divine Agitators: The Delta Ministry and Civil Rights in Mississippi.”Mark Newman. University of Georgia Press. 2004.

“Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi.”John Dittmer. University of Illinois Press. 1994.

“The Issaquena Genealogy and History Project: W.E. Mollison.”http://www.rootsweb.com/~msissaq2/mollison.html

“An Oral History with Mrs. Minnie Ripley.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1979. http://anna.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/ohripleymp.html

“SNCC: 1960-1966.”
http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/

Delta Ministry in Issaquena Co.

The Delta Ministry was formed by the NCC in 1964 to hold grassroots training sessions for sharecroppers on the importance of voting, political activism, and community communication. In Issaquena County and throughout the Delta, the Delta Ministry fought for the Head Start program, increased healthcare quality, and affordable housing. The Delta Ministry is often credited with carrying on the fight for social justice following COFO’s collapse and decreased activism from SNCC and other rights-oriented organizations.

Sources:

“Council of Federated Organizations (COFO).”King Encyclopedia.
http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/about_king/encyclopedia/cofo.htm

“An Oral History with Honorable Unita Blackwell.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1977.
http://www.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/blackwell.htm

“Barfootin’.”Unita Blackwell and JoAnne Prichard Morris. Crown Publishers. 2006.

“From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice.”Thomas F. Jackson. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2006.

“National Council of Churches.”http://home.wlu.edu/~connerm/AfAmStudies/Contemporary%20Culture%20Project/Religion&Culture/ncc.html

“Divine Agitators: The Delta Ministry and Civil Rights in Mississippi.”Mark Newman. University of Georgia Press. 2004.

“Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi.”John Dittmer. University of Illinois Press. 1994.

“The Issaquena Genealogy and History Project: W.E. Mollison.”http://www.rootsweb.com/~msissaq2/mollison.html

“An Oral History with Mrs. Minnie Ripley.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1979. http://anna.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/ohripleymp.html

“SNCC: 1960-1966.”
http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/

NCC in Issaquena County

The NCC is a confederation of churches of various denominations that took part in lobbying Congress for civil rights reforms in the 1960s and ’70s. In Mississippi, the NCC created the Delta Ministry, which played an important role in the lives of Issaquena County activists and sharecroppers. The NCC also was active in establishing prison ministries to investigate unlawful arrests and penitentiary conditions.

Sources:

“Council of Federated Organizations (COFO).”King Encyclopedia.
http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/about_king/encyclopedia/cofo.htm

“An Oral History with Honorable Unita Blackwell.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1977.
http://www.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/blackwell.htm

“Barfootin’.”Unita Blackwell and JoAnne Prichard Morris. Crown Publishers. 2006.

“From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice.”Thomas F. Jackson. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2006.

“National Council of Churches.”http://home.wlu.edu/~connerm/AfAmStudies/Contemporary%20Culture%20Project/Religion&Culture/ncc.html

“Divine Agitators: The Delta Ministry and Civil Rights in Mississippi.”Mark Newman. University of Georgia Press. 2004.

“Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi.”John Dittmer. University of Illinois Press. 1994.

“The Issaquena Genealogy and History Project: W.E. Mollison.”http://www.rootsweb.com/~msissaq2/mollison.html

“An Oral History with Mrs. Minnie Ripley.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1979. http://anna.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/ohripleymp.html

“SNCC: 1960-1966.”
http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/

Freedom Schools in Issaquena County

Freedom Schools were established by rights activists to provide high quality educators to underserved areas. In Sharkey and Issaquena Counties, Freedom Schools were started in the mid-1960s to ensure students who were suspended for wearing pro-SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) paraphernalia still had the opportunity to attend public school.