We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns: The Kids Who Fought for Civil Rights in Mississippi

Overview

So I want to talk about racism. I want to talk about Mississippi. I want to talk about events I observed that turned into history. I want to talk about black people who didn't know white people and white people who didn't know black people but who shared a season of time, a long, hot summer that some people now think of as mythic. But it wasn't mythic. Myths are populated by people who are bigger than life. I want to talk about people I met a long time ago in Mississippi who were not bigger than life, just more ...

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Overview

So I want to talk about racism. I want to talk about Mississippi. I want to talk about events I observed that turned into history. I want to talk about black people who didn't know white people and white people who didn't know black people but who shared a season of time, a long, hot summer that some people now think of as mythic. But it wasn't mythic. Myths are populated by people who are bigger than life. I want to talk about people I met a long time ago in Mississippi who were not bigger than life, just more curious than some, more loving than some, more enlightened than some, more vulnerable than some, more lucky than some. I drew their pictures when they were younger and I was younger, and I wrote their stories in Stranger at the Gates more than forty years ago. I still want to talk about them. Those conversations were never finished. Those sketches were sketches, not a finished portrait. For me, Mississippi remains a remarkable work in progress." -from the Prologue

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Sugarman (Stranger at the Gates: A Summer in Mississippi), a participant in Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964-65, where the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worked for voter registration efforts and community organizing, writes an introspective memoir complete with many of his original illustrations composed that summer. For Sugarman, there are no easy answers to the intricacies shown in movement organizing, state-sanctioned violence, and passionate discourse with the white establishment. This account of Freedom Summer is significant by virtue of the insights into the lives of the youth of the Civil Rights Movement. Many blacks in Mississippi had never worked closely with whites; for students of the North, who had been so isolated from the terror of the South, Freedom Summer represented a fascinating experiment. Many, such as Fannie Lou Hamer, depicted by Sugarman, gave their lives so that all citizens would have the right to vote. This book is a testament to the courageous civil rights workers whose perseverance and courage will inspire all readers.
—Jim Hahn

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815609384
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tracy Sugarman
Tracy Sugarman is a well-known illustrator whose work has appeared in major magazines and books, and on television. He has received numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Art Directors Club in Washington, D.C.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations xi

Prologue xv

Introduction xix

Part 1 The Long, Hot Summer, 1964

1 Charles McLaurin 3

2 Oxford 7

3 The Delta 26

4 Goodman, Schwerner, Chaney 32

5 The Lindseys 40

6 Blacks, Whites, and Whites 52

7 Drew 56

8 Freedom School 72

9 Fannie Lou Hamer 81

10 Drawing Conclusions 86

11 Indianola 91

12 The Civil Rights Bill 99

13 Birth of a Party 102

Part 2 Return to the Delta

14 June 1965 113

15 Return to the Lindseys 119

16 Durrough 126

17 Richard 132

18 Linda 136

19 Cephus 142

20 Marguerite 147

21 Liz 151

22 Farewell to the Lindseys 157

23 Farewell to the Delta 162

Part 3 The Roads from the Delta

24 Legacy 167

25 My Road 170

26 Batte Lindsey 172

27 June Johnson 175

28 L. C. Dorsey 181

29 Charlie Cobb 183

30 Martha Honey 192

31 Owen Brooks 195

32 Leslie McLemore 197

33 In Memoriam 199

34 Linda Davis 202

35 John Lewis 210

36 Nonviolence 214

37 Julian Bond 221

Part 4 Mississippi, October 2001

38 Mississippi Redux 231

39 Return to Ruleville 235

40 Jack Harper 252

41 Losing the Children 255

42 The Story to Tell 264

43 Young Power 266

44 Standing on Shoulders 269

45 Long Time Passing 275

46 Dale Gronemeier 277

47 Len Edwards 280

48 Fortieth Reunion, 2004 284

49 Jim Dann 287

50 John Harris 293

51 Liz Fusco 300

52 Chris Hexter 307

53 Unsettling Memories 314

54 Crossing the Highway 318

55 Not a Stranger 330

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