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"The reminiscences and reflections voiced at the SNCC reunion remind us of the remarkable vision and courageous dedication of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Framed by Cheryl Greenberg's eloquent and probing introduction, the SNCC veterans' comments about the triumphs and limitations of their movement represent a major contribution to the historical literature on race and power in modern America." --Raymond Arsenault, University of South Florida
On the occasion of SNCC's twenty-fifth anniversary, more than five hundred people gathered at Trinity College in Connecticut to both celebrate and critique its accomplishments. In A Circle of Trust, forty SNCC members tell their stories and reflect on the contributions, limits, and legacies of the movement. Engaging in spirited debates with each other, with historians of the movement, and with contemporary political culture more broadly, these former and perpetual activists speak of their vision of a just society and what still remains to be done. Given racial tensions and the resurgence of the debate over integration and separatism in America in the 1990s, the content of this conference is more relevant than ever.
Cheryl Greeenberg begins with an overview of SNCC and introduces each of the chapters of oral history. Participants explore the origins of SNCC, its early adoption of nonviolent protest, its ultimate renuciation of liberal integration and embrace of militant black radicalism, its refusal to repudiate far-left organizations, and controversies over the roles of women in SNCC and society at large. The result is a thoughtful, moving, if sometimes acrimonious account of one of the nation's most significant civil rights organizations and its successes and failures.
Cheryl Lynn Greenberg is associate professor of history at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and author of "Or Does It Explode?": Black Harlem in the Great Depression.
|The Beloved Community: Origins of SNCC||18|
|Voter Registration is Direct Action||39|
|"In the Middle of the Iceberg": Mississippi and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party||61|
|"Ordinary People": Alabama and the Lowndes County Freedom Organization||87|
|"Oh Freedom": Music of the Movement||110|
|SNCC Women and the Stirrings of Feminism||127|
|SNCC and the Practice of History||177|
|Glossary of Names and Terms||221|
|Biographies of Participants||253|