Ed King's Mississippi: Behind the Scenes of Freedom Summer

Univ. Press of Mississippi
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Ed King's Mississippi: Behind the Scenes of Freedom Summer features more than forty unpublished black-and-white photographs and substantial writings by the prominent civil rights activist Reverend Ed King. The images and text provide a unique perspective on Mississippi during the summer of 1964. Taken in Jackson, Greenwood, and Philadelphia, the photographs showcase informal images of Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, Mississippi civil rights workers, and college student volunteers in the movement. Ed King's writings offer background and insights on the motivations and work of Freedom Summer volunteers, on the racial climate of Mississippi during the late 1950s and 1960s, and the grassroots effort by black Mississippians to enter the political arena and exercise their fundamental civil rights.

Ed King, a native of Vicksburg and a Methodist minister, was a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and a key figure in the civil rights movement in the state in the 1960s. As one of the few white Mississippians with a leadership position in the movement, his words and photographs offer a rare behind-the-scenes chronicle of events in the state during Freedom Summer. Ed King is a retired faculty member of the School of Health Related Professions, University of Mississippi Medical Center. Historian Trent Watts furnishes a substantial introduction to the volume and offers background on the Freedom Summer campaign as well as a description of Ed King's civil rights activism from the late 1950s to the present day.
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About the author

Reverend Ed King was a major figure in the civil rights movement in Mississippi. A chaplain at Tougaloo College, he also became a key leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). In the 1963 Freedom Vote mock campaign and election, King ran for lieutenant governor and Aaron Henry, president of the Mississippi NAACP, ran for governor. King was an MFDP delegate to the 1964 and 1968 Democratic National Conventions and helped found the Mississippi Civil Liberties Union. Trent Watts is associate professor of American studies at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is the author of One Homogeneous People: Narratives of White Southern Identity, 1890-1920 and White Masculinity in the Recent South.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Univ. Press of Mississippi
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Published on
Oct 7, 2014
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781626743304
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
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This content is DRM free.
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Once in a great while, a photograph captures the essence of an era: Three people--one black and two white--demonstrate for equality at a lunch counter while a horde of cigarette-smoking hotshots pour catsup, sugar, and other condiments on the protesters' heads and down their backs. The image strikes a chord for all who lived through those turbulent times of a changing America.

The photograph, which plays a central role in the book's perspectives from frontline participants, caught a moment when the raw virulence of racism crashed against the defiance of visionaries. It now shows up regularly in books, magazines, videos, and museums that endeavor to explain America's largely nonviolent civil rights battles of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Yet for all of the photograph's celebrated qualities, the people in it and the events they inspired have only been sketched in civil rights histories. It is not well known, for instance, that it was this event that sparked to life the civil rights movement in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1963. Sadly, this same sit-in and the protest events it inspired led to the assassination of Medgar Evers, who was leading the charge in Jackson for the NAACP.

We Shall Not Be Moved puts the Jackson Woolworth's sit-in into historical context. Part multifaceted biography, part well-researched history, this gripping narrative explores the hearts and minds of those participating in this harrowing sit-in experience. It was a demonstration without precedent in Mississippi--one that set the stage for much that would follow in the changing dynamics of the state's racial politics, particularly in its capital city.

Winner of the 2017 Eudora Welty Prize

Sanctuaries of Segregation provides the first comprehensive analysis of the Jackson, Mississippi, church visit campaign of 1963-1964 and the efforts by segregationists to protect one of their last refuges. For ten months, integrated groups of ministers and laypeople attempted to attend Sunday worship services at all-white Protestant and Catholic churches in the state's capital city. While the church visit was a common tactic of activists in the early 1960s, Jackson remained the only city where groups mounted a sustained campaign targeting a wide variety of white churches.

Carter Dalton Lyon situates the visits within the context of the Jackson Movement, compares the actions to church visits and kneel-ins in other cities, and places these encounters within controversies already underway over race inside churches and denominations. He then traces the campaign from its inception in early June 1963 through Easter Sunday 1964. He highlights the motivations of the various people and organizations, the interracial dialogue that took place on the church steps, the divisions and turmoil the campaign generated within churches and denominations, the decisions by individual congregations to exclude black visitors, and the efforts by the state and the Citizens' Council to thwart the integration attempts.

Sanctuaries of Segregation offers a unique perspective on those tumultuous years. Though most churches blocked African American visitors and police stepped in to make forty arrests during the course of the campaign, Lyon reveals many examples of white ministers and laypeople stepping forward to oppose segregation. Their leadership and the constant pressure from activists seeking entrance into worship services made the churches of Jackson one of the front lines in the national struggle over civil rights.
As tensions mounted before Freedom Summer, one organization tackled the divide by opening lines of communication at the request of local women: Wednesdays in Mississippi (WIMS). Employing an unusual and deliberately feminine approach, WIMS brought interracial, interfaith teams of northern middle-aged, middle- and upper-class women to Mississippi to meet with their southern counterparts. Sponsored by the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), WIMS operated on the belief that the northern participants' gender, age, and class would serve as an entrée to southerners who had dismissed other civil rights activists as radicals. The WIMS teams' respectable appearance and quiet approach enabled them to build understanding across race, region, and religion where other overtures had failed.

The only civil rights program created for women by women as part of a national organization, WIMS offers a new paradigm through which to study civil rights activism, challenging the stereotype of Freedom Summer activists as young student radicals and demonstrating the effectiveness of the subtle approach taken by "proper ladies." The book delves into the motivations for women's civil rights activism and the role religion played in influencing supporters and opponents of the civil rights movement. Lastly, it confirms that the NCNW actively worked for integration and black voting rights while also addressing education, poverty, hunger, housing, and employment as civil rights issues.

After successful efforts in 1964 and 1965, WIMS became Workshops in Mississippi, which strived to alleviate the specific needs of poor women. Projects that grew from these efforts still operate today.

From antebellum readers avidly consuming stories featuring white southern men as benevolent patriarchs, hell-raising frontiersmen, and callous plantation owners to post--Civil War southern writers seeking to advance a model of southern manhood and male authority as honorable, dignified, and admirable, the idea of a distinctly southern masculinity has reflected the broad regional differences between North and South. In the latter half of the twentieth century and beyond, the media have helped to shape modern models of white manhood, not only for southerners but for the rest of the nation and the world.
In White Masculinity in the Recent South, thirteen scholars of history, literature, film, and environmental studies examine modern white masculinity, including such stereotypes as the good old boy, the redneck, and the southern gentleman. With topics ranging from southern Protestant churches to the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, this cutting-edge volume seeks to do what no other single work has done: to explore the ways in which white southern manhood has been experienced and represented since World War II. Using a variety of approaches -- cultural and social history, close readings of literature and music, interviews, and personal stories -- the contributors explore some of the ways in which white men have acted in response to their own and their culture's conceptions of white manhood. Topics include neo-Confederates, the novels of William Faulkner, gay southern men, football coaching, deer hunting, church camps, college fraternities, and white men's responses to the civil rights movement.
Taken together, these engaging pieces show how white southern men are shaped by regional as well as broader American ideas of what they ought to do and be. White men themselves, the contributors explain, view the idea of southern manhood in two seemingly contradictory ways -- as something natural and as something learned through rites of initiation and passage -- and believe it must be lived and displayed to one's peers and others in order to be fully realized.
While economic and social conditions of the South changed dramatically in the twentieth century, white manhood as it is expressed in the contemporary South is still a complex, contingent, historicized matter, and broadly shared -- or at least broadly recognized -- notions of white southern manhood continue to be central to southern culture. Representing some of the best recent scholarship in southern gender studies, this bold collection invites further explorations into twenty-first-century white southern masculinity.
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Praise for Between the World and Me

“Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”—The Boston Globe

“Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”—The Washington Post

“Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”—Vogue

“A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”—The New Yorker

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The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.

Praise for Stamped from the Beginning:

"We often describe a wonderful book as 'mind-blowing' or 'life-changing' but I've found this rarely to actually be the case. I found both descriptions accurate for Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning... I will never look at racial discrimination again after reading this marvellous, ambitious, and clear-sighted book." - George Saunders, Financial Times, Best Books of 2017

"Ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism." --Seattle Times

"A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society." --The Atlantic

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for NonfictionA New York Times BestsellerA Washington Post BestsellerOn President Obama's Black History Month Recommended Reading List
Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for NonfictionNamed one of the Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Review of Books, The Root, Buzzfeed, Bustle, and Entropy

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