HIST 13
Eyewitness to the Civil Rights Movement: Mississippi 1964-65 Winter 2022

Class Details

During sixteen months in 1964-65 I worked as a civil rights organizer in rural Mississippi with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). I witnessed and aided in the heroic efforts by black citizens to dismantle the pervasive structure of Jim Crow that had oppressed them for generations. I met relatively uneducated people with the stature of giants. What I encountered was an apartheid America–a vicious police state reinforced by government and vigilante violence–beyond the understanding of most Americans and certainly beyond the imagination of young people today. The course will explore this transformative moment in recent American history thru documentary film, popular music of the time and class discussion. Topics include nonviolence and armed self-defense, the role of the black church, women and whites, Malcolm X and Black Power and the third party politics of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Students will read and discuss three books. It is the intent of the instructor to convey the immediacy that only first person experience can convey.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 20
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final project or presentation; participation in class discussion
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: random drawing
Unit Notes: Chris Williams worked as the college architect for many years. Now retired, he lives with his wife and hound dog on the backroads of Vermont.
Materials/Lab Fee: none

Class Grid

Updated 9:58 pm

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