The events surrounding the civil rights struggle in the South were very dramatic. National media flocked there, including many distinguished photographers, leaving us with a vivid pictorial history of the times.
- The Violence
In 1964 several civil rights groups including SNCC, SCLC, NAACP, and CORE, banded together to form COFO, the Council of Federated Organizations. Their goal was to register the black citizens of Mississippi to vote, and their vehicle became the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. A young photographer named Danny Lyon captured the fears and hopes of the times.
- Frightened Boy
The threat of white violence was terrifying. Lyon and COFO used this photograph to express both that fear and also the hope of youth, of a new generation of Mississippians.
- Police Threat
It was a hope not shared by most of the white community. In this image, Lyon captured the essence of the threat of violence - official and official sanctioned by police.
- Poverty and Mississippi
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known simply through its acronym SNCC, informed the North about conditions in Mississippi through this pamphlet. They linked the disabling effects of poverty to the importance of family to the need for blacks to have a vote.
In a nation awash in food, black rural families in Mississippi were suffering from hunger. Living on the crops they were able to cultivate, they did not have enough to eat.
Amidst poverty, families persisted. A mother and daughter, members of the rural poor, embrace each other in comfort.
Only through the political power of the vote could blacks in Mississippi better their lives and end poverty.
SNCC workers risked their lives in Mississippi – but every day Northerners could help the cause of civil rights through donations of food. This pamphlet urged the contribution of small, every day actions to bring about larger changes - social and racial justice.