Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC

Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC

by Faith S. Holsaert
     
 

ISBN-10: 0252078888

ISBN-13: 9780252078880

Pub. Date: 07/20/2012

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

 

In Hands on the Freedom Plow, fifty-two women—northern and southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white, and Latina—share their courageous personal stories of working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement.

 

The testimonies gathered here present a

…  See more details below

Overview

 

In Hands on the Freedom Plow, fifty-two women—northern and southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white, and Latina—share their courageous personal stories of working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement.

 

The testimonies gathered here present a sweeping personal history of SNCC: early sit-ins, voter registration campaigns, and freedom rides; the 1963 March on Washington, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the movements in Alabama and Maryland; and Black Power and antiwar activism. Since the women spent time in the Deep South, many also describe risking their lives through beatings and arrests and witnessing unspeakable violence. These intense stories depict women, many very young, dealing with extreme fear and finding the remarkable strength to survive.

 

The women in SNCC acquired new skills, experienced personal growth, sustained one another, and even had fun in the midst of serious struggle. Readers are privy to their analyses of the Movement, its tactics, strategies, and underlying philosophies. The contributors revisit central debates of the struggle including the role of nonviolence and self-defense, the role of white people in a black-led movement, and the role of women within the Movement and the society at large.  

 

Each story reveals how the struggle for social change was formed, supported, and maintained by the women who kept their "hands on the freedom plow." As the editors write in the introduction, "Though the voices are different, they all tell the same story—of women bursting out of constraints, leaving school, leaving their hometowns, meeting new people, talking into the night, laughing, going to jail, being afraid, teaching in Freedom Schools, working in the field, dancing at the Elks Hall, working the WATS line to relay horror story after horror story, telling the press, telling the story, telling the word. And making a difference in this world."

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252078880
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
07/20/2012
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
656
Sales rank:
351,801
Product dimensions:
9.32(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.38(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Fighting for My Rights: One SNCC Woman's Experience, 1961-1964 7

From Little Memphis Girl to Mississippi Amazon Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons aka Gwendolyn Robinson 9

Part 2 Entering Troubled Waters: Sit-ins, the Founding of SNCC, and the Freedom Rides, 1960-1963 33

What We Were Talking about Was Our Future Angeline Butler 39

An Official Observer Constance Curry 45

Onto Open Ground Casey Hayden 49

Two Variations on Nonviolence Mildred Forman Page 53

A Young Communist Joins SNCC Debbie Amis Bell 55

Watching, Waiting, and Resisting Hellen O'Neal-McCray 61

Diary of a Freedom Rider Joan Trumpauer Mulholland 67

They Are the Ones Who Got Scared Diane Nash 76

Part 3 Movement Leaning Posts: The Heart and Soul of the Southwest Georgia Movement, 1961-1963 85

Ripe for the Picking Janie Culbreth Rambeau 91

Finding Form for the Expression of My Discontent Annette Jones White 100

Uncovered and Without Shelter, I Joined This Movement for Freedom Bernice Johnson Reagon 119

We Turned This Upside-Down Country Right Side Up Joann Christian Mants 128

Everybody Called Me "Teach" McCree L. Harris 140

I Love to Sing Rutha Mae Harris 144

Since I Laid My Burden Down Bernice Johnson Reagon 146

We Just Kept Going Carolyn Daniels 152

Part 4 Standing Tall: The Southwest Georgia Movement, 1962-1963 157

It Was Simply in My Blood Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely 163

Freedom-Faith Prathia Hall 172

Resistance U Faith S. Holsaert 181

Caught in the Middle Cathy Cade 195

Part 5 Get on Board: The Mississippi Movement through the Atlantic City Challenge, 1961-1964 211

Standing Up for Our Beliefs Joyce Ladner 217

Inside and Outside of Two Worlds Jeannette King 223

They Didn't Know the Power of Women Victoria Gray Adams 230

Do Whatever You Are Big Enough to Do Jean Smith Young 240

Depending on Ourselves Muriel Tillinghast 250

A Grand Romantic Notion Denise Nicholas 257

If We Must Die Janet Jemmott Moses 266

Part 6 Cambridge, Maryland: The Movement under Attack, 1961-1964 271

The Energy of the People Passing through Me Gloria Richardson Dandridge 273

Part 7 A Sense of Family: The National SNCC Office, 1960-1964 299

Peek around the Mountain Joanne Grant 303

My Real Vocation Dorothy M. Zellner 311

A SNCC Blue Book Jane Bond Moore 326

Getting Out the News Mary E. King 332

It's Okay to Fight the Status Quo E. Jeanne Breaker Johnson 344

SNCC: My Enduring "Circle of Trust" Judy Richardson 348

Working in the Eye of the Social Movement Storm Betty Carman Robinson 366

In the Attics of My Mind Casey Hayden 381

Building a New World Barbara Jones Omolade 388

Part 8 Fighting Another Day: The Mississippi Movement after Atlantic City, 1964-1966 395

A Simple Question Margaret Herring 399

The Mississippi Cotton Vote Penny Patch 403

The Freedom Struggle Was the Flame Elaine DeLott Baker 409

An Interracial Alliance of the Poor: An Elusive Populist Fantasy? Emmie Schrader Adams 417

We Weren't the Bad Guys Barbara Brandt 427

Sometimes in the Ground Troops, Sometimes in the Leadership Doris A. Derby 436

Part 9 The Constant Struggle: The Alabama Movement, 1963-1966 447

There Are No Cowards in My Family Annie Pearl Avery 453

Singing for Freedom Bettie Mae Fikes 460

Bloody Selma Prathia Hall 470

Playtime Is Over Fay Bellamy Powell 473

Captured by the Movement Martha Prescod Norman Noonan 483

We'll Never Turn Back Gloria House 503

Letter to My Adolescent Son Jean Wiley 514

Part 10 Black Power. Issues of Continuity, Change, and Personal Identity, 1964-1969 525

Neither Black nor White in a Black-White World Elizabeth (Betita) Sutherland Martinez 531

I Knew I Wasn't White, but in America What Was I? Marilyn Lowen 540

Time to Get Ready Maria Varela 552

Born Freedom Fighter Gwen Patton 572

Postscript: We Who Believe in Freedom 587

Index 593

Illustrations follow pages 84, 156, and 270.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >