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Sunday, March 27, 2011


SNCC and the Politics of Nonviolence:
A Study of Armed Self-Defense and the Southern Struggle for Civil Rights

By David Paul Tahrir Thurston 

As the civil rights movement developed, many of its most dedicated activists drew increasingly radical conclusions about the nature of U.S. society and about the forms of struggle necessary to achieve their ends.  The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) exemplified this process.  Organized after the first wave of student led sit-ins, SNCC came into existence as a group committed to nonviolent direct action. Yet by 1966, SNCC had come to defend armed self-defense as a component of the black freedom struggle.  This shift away from principled nonviolence took place between 1964 and 1966, and was decisively shaped by the organization’s experience in Mississippi.  It was a reaction to several factors: the brutality of white racists, the inadequacy of protection provided by the federal government, and the sentiments of poor and working class blacks among whom SNCC members lived and worked.  In moving towards support for armed self-defense, SNCC responded to the sentiments among rural blacks in Mississippi and was influenced by self-defense organizations like the Deacons for Defense and Justice.
Historians Clayborne Carson, Charles Payne, and Akinyele Umoja have emphasized the importance of interaction with local blacks in changing attitudes within SNCC.  For former activist Todd Gitlin, the embrace of armed resistance by SNCC represents only disillusionment and loss of hope.  Yet SNCC’s shift towards support for armed self-defense was an organic product of their organizing in the deep South, facing conditions where local blacks with guns proved far more reliable and consistent than federal government intervention.  Far from signifying hopelessness, the turn towards self-defense and Black Power represented a new confidence in the ability of poor and working-class blacks to organize in their own interests.  The importance of armed action to the black freedom struggle has been the subject of several recent works, including Timothy B. Tyson’s study of Robert F. Williams’ actions in Monroe, North Carolina and Lance Hill’s recent study of the Deacons for Defense and Justice.  Tyson argues that “across the movement, traditions of armed resistance worked hand in hand with nonviolent direct action and voter registration campaigns.”  The interaction of these components produced a profound shift in the views dominant within SNCC.[1] 
At its inception, SNCC’s commitment to nonviolence was twofold.  Nonviolence was viewed both as a moral principle and as the best tactical means of building a movement and securing broad support.  SNCC’s newsletter, The Student Voice, printed this statement of purpose:
We affirm the philosophical or religious idea of nonviolence as the foundation of our purpose, the pre-supposition of our faith, and the manner of our action.  Non violence as it grows from Judaic-Christian tradition seeks a social order of justice permeated by love… By appealing to conscience and standing on the moral nature of human existence, nonviolence nurtures the atmosphere in which reconciliation and justice become actual possibilities.[2]

At this stage, SNCC’s politics were deeply influenced by a religiously-based pacifism espoused by activists from Nashville.  Strategically, however, SNCC’s founders viewed nonviolence as critical to winning northern liberal support and to securing federal intervention in support of the civil rights movement.  For most members of SNCC, nonviolence held sway primarily because of its tactical benefits, and less out of deeply held principle.[3]  James Foreman, who served as SNCC’s executive secretary, described the dynamic:
My willingness to submit to the discipline of nonviolence arose from my view of it as a means to build a mass movement and to build the self-confidence of our people as a whole… I knew that nonviolence would not work, but hopefully the witnessing of terror and police brutality would help create a mass consciousness that would eventually lead to more militancy and action… My nonviolence has always been the most tactical of all possible tactical nonviolence.[4]

This emphasis on nonviolence as a tactic recurs again and again in interviews of SNCC workers.  One former SNCC worker, Robert E. Wright, interviewed in 1968, recalled being influenced by Malcolm X while at Harvard, yet holding to tactical nonviolence: “We felt, at that time, if you did fight back, this would ruin everything.  We’d spoil our image.”[5]  Other accounts confirm the centrality of these tactical questions to SNCC’s views on violence.  Speaking of nonviolence, Charles Jones remembers, “there were those who pursued it as a way of life and those who pursued it as a tactic… We never said, for instance, that once you were not engaged in an organized demonstration that you should not protect yourself.”[6]
As the movement radicalized, the tenor of SNCC’s publications would shift markedly from the tone of the statement of principles quoted above.  By 1964, The Student Voice carried regular denunciations of racist brutality against the movement, not admonitions that the movement remain nonviolent.  SNCC emphasized the brutality faced by civil rights workers in the South, and criticized the federal government for not intervening more effectively to prevent racist terror.  A special report on September 23, 1964 labeled McComb, Mississippi a “City of Terror.”  It included extensive and personal coverage of the bombing of Mrs. Aleyenne Quinn’s home, criticism of local authorities, and an article titled, “Federal Inaction Challenged:”
Rights workers here have called for increased Federal support in the face of constant white terror.  They are again challenging the “myth” that the Federal government lacks power to protect civil rights workers… McComb project director Harris concluded his letter to [Civil Rights Division head Burke] Marshall by saying, “…unless responsible forces are brought to bear in McComb, what happened in Neshoba County (Philadelphia, Miss. Where three rights workers were murdered) will happen here.[7] 

This emphasis on federal government inaction reflected mounting frustration with what seemed like callous indifference from a Kennedy administration that claimed to have some commitment to civil rights.  It also reflected an impasse in SNCC’s own strategy, which saw nonviolence as a means of forcing government intervention.  The limits to the federal government’s reaction led SNCC members to question the assumptions upon which their strategy had been based. 
The most striking part of this issue of The Student Voice is SNCC’s report on the community’s outraged response to the McComb bombings:

An angry crowd of Negroes gathered at the home after the blast pelting police with bricks and bottles.  One police car was damaged, and a Negro girl slightly injured by a ricocheting brick.[8]

The Voice stops short of endorsing the revolt by McComb’s black residents. Nonetheless, coverage of events in McComb displays mounting outrage at the scale of physical terror and government indifference.  After more than a year in which McComb’s blacks had taken up arms in self-defense, this latest attack was too much to bear.  The community launched into several days of armed uprising, during which whites stayed away from the black sections of town.  The violent nature of the black community’s response finally forced some action from federal authorities, leading to hearings in Washington and the arrest of several Klansmen.  As Lance Hill argues, “Within days, President Johnson brought pressure to bear on state officials and the Klan was soon out of business.”  While not endorsing armed self-defense, The Student Voice at least gives expression to the impulses at work on the ground.  Later in the year, The Student Voice also reported that members of one of Mississippi’s largest unions, the International Woodworkers of America, were being urged to arm themselves against the Klan.  These were threads that led many members of SNCC away from the strategy of nonviolence to which they had sworn allegiance.[9]
The period during which these tendencies would play out is what Clayborne Carson has called the “second stage” of SNCC’s political career.  After the defeat of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s challenge to the state’s Democratic machine, SNCC members grew “more uncertain about the values guiding their work.”[10]  A central dynamic to SNCC’s leftward trajectory is their reckoning with the intersection of race and class.  Jack Bloom has provided the best overview of these dynamics, arguing that the emergence of Black Power is, in part, the articulation of a politics of black working class self-activity.  SNCC’s radicalization on the question of violence was tied to a more serious reckoning with the challenges of organizing poor and working-class blacks.[11]
A few SNCC workers were ambivalent about pure nonviolence from the start. Travis Britt, a Korean War veteran who was active in McComb, remembered being disarmed as he joined a Freedom Ride in Los Angeles.  Interviewed in 1968, Britt recalled:
I’ve never really been able to accept it.  But throughout the entire period as a field worker with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, I practiced non-violence daily, both during demonstrations and after demonstrations—even though I did not feel that this type of philosophy was a workable one, I was willing to try it.  And to demonstrate the extent I was willing to try it, while trying to get some black people registered to vote in McComb, Mississippi, we had to go to the county seat which was Liberty, Mississippi… I was attacked by a group of white men and beaten severely… as much as I wanted to hit back, I accepted this without any retaliation, physically.[12]

For other SNCC workers, the experience of organizing in the Deep South created a pull away from SNCC’s established philosophy.  Remembering working in Mississippi, Richard E. Wright expressed the frustration articulated by Travis Britt:
I saw a cop chase women two blocks, jump over fences and beat people unmercifully—and they went in one lady’s house and beat her and hit a little girl on the arm with a billy club, and stuff like that.  I stood up against a tree and just cried cause I couldn’t do anything because I promised I wouldn’t, and all that.  It was just miserable then… All I can say is that it didn’t seem right.  It didn’t seem the way.  I couldn’t see myself preaching that to anybody.[13]

Many SNCC workers, personally convinced of the efficacy of nonviolent methods, found themselves working alongside black southerners whose impulses were different.  SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael remembered being handed a revolver by MFDP leader Fannie Lou Hamer.  Unita Blackwell, also active with the MFDP, had her own system.  She and her husband took turns sleeping so that someone would be awake and armed if the two were attacked by night-riders.  During Freedom Summer of 1964, the level of violence confronting activists was of a massive scale; local blacks had no hesitation about defending themselves and their communities.[14]  The following exchange between SNCC activist Charles Scattergood and interviewer Robert Wright, also a SNCC veteran, is revealing:
Scattergood:  I was staying up all night watching for night riders for weeks and weeks on end…
Wright:  Did they get ready to arm themselves and things like that?
Scattergood:  Of course, of course. People were arming themselves all over the place.  There was a gun in every house.
Wright:  But that was always the case right?
Scattergood:  Yeah, it was the case maybe they’ve got two guns, you know, I don’t know… they brought the guns out, the guns were sitting around in the open.
Wright:  One of the things I remember when I was down there, that everybody had a gun, you know, in every house all over the town.  And the whole non-violent thing was sort of alien to them.
Scattergood:  Yeah, it was… I’ll have to say that I carried a gun myself, you know, many times.  During the night, when I was guarding houses.[15]

In Mississippi, towns with strong traditions of armed self-defense were often safest for civil rights activists.  Harmony, a small farming community in Leake County, was one such haven.  The community’s relatively large number of black landowners facilitated an elaborate system of community protection:
Armed resistance constituted an essential element of the struggle in Harmony.  Leake County, like Neshoba to the east, was central Klan territory… Adult men and women and the youth all participated in a community defense system.  In the evening, young men took turns in an armed watch of the Harmony community center, which housed the local freedom school and COFO headquarters and was located along the main roads entering Harmony.  They used car horns and blinking headlights to signal intruders approaching the general community or individual farms.[16]

Beginning in 1963, a school desegregation suit and an influx of civil rights workers had led to provocative violence by the Klan.  John Dittmer writes:
With no local, state, or federal authorities to deter them, white terrorists began to make forays into Harmony.  There they found the community armed and ready.  When Dovie Hudson learned that whites were on the road placing bombs in mailboxes, she “called my boys and one got one gun and one got the other one.  And just as they drove up and put the bomb in the mailbox, my boys started shooting. They just lined that car with bullets up and down.”[17]

Mileston was another Mississippi town with a similar tradition and practice.  There, SNCC organizer Hollis Watkins participated in an armed patrol, violating SNCC’s  policy.  Watkins, however, felt obligated to participate in a system that secured his well-being.  He gave this description of the process:
If a vehicle came across the tracks down into the community and didn’t give the proper signals, after a certain hour… then the telephone messages would be relayed and ultimately that vehicle would be approached from the front and the rear and checked to see who it was.  In most cases it would be met head-on with headlights… with two people in a car.  And generally being approached by four people in a pickup truck from behind… two of the people would generally be in the cab.  And two would generally be in the back with the guns raised over the cab.[18]

These armed patrols ensured that no one got into the community without being known.  This highly organized, almost paramilitary, activity was a carefully crafted response to extremely violent circumstances.  Witnessing black communities take up the task of defending themselves when the state and federal governments refused to profoundly affected members of SNCC.[19] 
Before Freedom Summer, SNCC held an internal debate on the issue of armed self-defense at a national staff meeting in Atlanta on June 10, 1964.  The debate arose when it was revealed that guns had been kept in the Freedom House in Greenwood, Mississippi since January.  Many members of SNCC questioned the practicality of self-defense, arguing that only the federal government could provide adequate protection.  Bob Moses argued that while SNCC could not insist that local blacks submit to the strictures of nonviolence, SNCC workers were obligated to remain unarmed.  Rebuttals came from activists in Mississippi and elsewhere.  Significantly, Mike Sayer, a white activist from New York, invoked the experience of Robert Williams and the armed black community in Monroe, North Carolina.  The success of armed patrols in curbing Klan violence suggested that self-defense could be effective, and might not lead to the bloodbath forecast by some within SNCC.  In the end, SNCC resolved that no guns were to be kept on property controlled by the organization, and that staff members were not to carry weapons.  Reflecting a level of ambivalence, even at this stage, SNCC also agreed to take no public position on armed self-defense.[20]
SNCC had long prided itself on respecting the traditions of local communities in which they worked.  Members could not help but apply this method to the question of self-defense.  SNCC leader Bob Moses put it this way:
Local people carried the day.  They defined how they and the culture was going to relate to the issue of using guns, having them available and nonviolence... They defined that and people fell into it.  Then the question was ‘well can we apply that to us as organizers?’[21]

While Mississippi provided SNCC with its most extreme encounter with the brutality of white racism, the experience of SNCC workers in Lowndes County, Alabama was also significant.  There, in 1965, SNCC lay the basis for an organization of black farmers and sharecroppers called the Lowndes County Freedom Organization.  Clayborn Carson writes that SNCC workers,
did succeed in uniting a group of militant and self-reliant local black residents who sustained the movement in Lowndes County.  Like the rural areas of Mississippi, black farmers in Lowndes County owned weapons and were willing to defend themselves when attacked.  Black rallies in the county were often protected by armed guards, sometimes affiliated with the Louisiana-based Deacons for Defense and Justice.[22]

Project leader Stokely Carmichael recalled being a restraining influence on local blacks. After hearing Carmichael argue for nonviolence, one local leader, R.L. Strickland replied, “You turn the other cheek, and you’ll get handed half of what you’re sitting on.”[23] 
This shift at the grassroots level brought the activity of local SNCC members out of step with the views of the group’s national leadership.  On a whole series of political questions, John Lewis, SNCC’s chairman, was resistant to SNCC’s growing radicalization.[24]  In 1965, a member of SNCC working in southwest Georgia was arrested for possessing three pistols.  Chairman John Lewis, Marion Barry, and other proponents of nonviolence criticized the region’s project director, insisting that he should have discouraged his staff from carrying weapons.  Members of SNCC from Alabama disagreed:
“We are not King or SCLC,” Carmichael exclaimed, “They don’t do the kind of work we do nor do they live in the areas we live in.  They don’t ride the highways at night.”  He asserted that for King nonviolence was “everything” but for SNCC it had always been simply a tactic… Carmichael recalled that the discussion ended when he asked those carrying weapons to place them on the table.  Nearly all of the black organizers working in the deep South were armed.[25]

Signifying the change in orientation, Carmichael replaced Lewis as SNCC Chairman in 1966.  Soon after, he popularized the Black Power slogan, propelling SNCC into the leadership of a growing black left.
 The attitudes of SNCC workers were profoundly affected by the urban rebellions that began sweeping U.S. cities in 1964.  By 1968, virtually every city with a large black population had witnessed major unrest.  SNCC leader Cleveland Sellers recalled:
We were all very conscious of the fact that the axis of the struggle appeared to be shifting away from the rural South to the cities in the North.  The totally unexpected rebellions in Harlem, Watts, Chicago and Philadelphia made a big impact on our thinking.  They motivated us to begin a search for ways in which we could mold the discontent in the urban ghettos to revolutionary advantage.[26]

The rebellions gave voice to seething discontent among urban blacks, whose aspirations had been raised by the civil rights movement, but whose living conditions remained largely unchanged.  The rebellions also produced tangible victories. As Jack Bloom argues:
Real gains were won as a result of the riots.  The funds generally allocated to the poverty program were increased during the riot period and those cities that experienced riots got the greatest share of antipoverty money.  One study showed that the amount of antipoverty money allocated to Los Angeles dramatically increased after the Watts uprising… Jobs were also provided for the unemployed.[27]

These urban explosions shifted the views of members of SNCC and raised questions about the role of the federal government.  In an interview, George Raymond, an organizer with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), argued:
The real reason the poverty program came about was the fact that riots took place and the fact that Negroes were unsatisfied with the way the government was going… so the problem of the poverty program in a sense was a pacifier.[28]

While the riots are largely viewed as a northern phenomenon, they had their southern counterparts, and also profoundly influenced the course of struggle in the South.  The first urban rebellion actually took place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, following the massive desegregation campaign led by Martin Luther King.  These were mass acts, involving thousands in protest that went beyond the boundaries proscribed by the movement’s pacifist leadership:
In the summer of 1963—in the middle of what is traditionally viewed as the nonviolent phase of the movement—black civil violence against police and white vigilantes exploded in Lexington, North Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Cambridge, Maryland.  During 1964-65 more black riots erupted in southern cities… Numerous “near-riots” occurred in Nashville, Atlanta and other cities.[29]

Lance Hill has emphasized that the first wave of rebellions, including the 1964 Watts uprising, precede the enactment of the Civil Rights Act.  But the southern rebellions also “dramatically affected local power relations,” leading to desegregation settlements in many cities where riots had taken place, well before the federal act went into effect.[30]
Many in SNCC also listened closely to the words of Malcolm X, who articulated the anger of northern urban working-class blacks.  After his expulsion from the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X sought out relationships with radical forces within the civil rights movement, particularly with SNCC.  Malcolm is well known for his advocacy of black self-defense, ideas which connected with the experiences of SNCC activists in rural Mississippi and Alabama.  In early February 1965, SNCC asked Malcolm to speak to black students and workers in Selma, Alabama.  By all accounts, the crowd was electrified.  The relationship between SNCC and Malcolm X was tragically short-lived.  Just a few weeks later, Malcolm was assassinated.[31] 
The urban rebellions were the most dramatic expression of working-class blacks’ rejection of principled nonviolence.  During these years of revolt, local black self-defense organizations were formed, giving grassroots expression to the political shift.  These organizations affected the thinking of members of SNCC, pushing them further towards an embrace of armed self-defense.  The Deacons for Defense and Justice was formed in 1964 in Jonesboro, Louisiana, but was never an organized presence in most of Mississippi.  Its example nonetheless exerted a strong influence on movement activists.  In Louisiana, some members of CORE joined the Deacons in armed patrols.  In 1966, members of SNCC and CORE insisted that the Deacons be allowed to guard the March against Fear from Memphis to Jackson in June 1966.[32]  Fred Brooks, a former SNCC worker, recalled the Deacons striking impact on SNCC, noting that the Deacons had virtually halted public exhibitions by the Ku Klux Klan:
When people decided that they would no longer accept the philosophy of nonviolence, but would begin protecting themselves, things changed.  They stopped burning down our churches, they stopped harassing us, they stopped beating us, because they know if they hit us, we would hit back.[33]

Lance Hill, historian of the Deacons, credits their organizing with forcing federal intervention on numerous occasions and with decreasing the threat of terror faced by ordinary blacks.  Hill argues that “street riots and armed self-defense played a fundamental role in uprooting segregation and economic and political discrimination from 1963 to 1965.”[34] Charles Payne has raised a similar argument:
Very little attention has been paid to the possibility that the success of the movement in the rural South owed something to the attitude of local people towards self-defense.  Testimony from the most important source, those whites who engaged in violence or wanted to is unavailable.  We can only make inferences from their behavior… Their new-found caution is probably best explained by their appreciation of the probability of getting shot themselves… A part of the calculus of change was that by the early sixties, there were more black people willing to defend themselves at all costs then there were white people willing to live up to all the Confederate bluster.[35]

The Deacons were not alone in giving organized expression to these impulses.  CORE Organizer George Raymond remembered a group called Black Hawk in Canton, Mississippi.  Something similar took shape in Rankin County:
A highway patrolman killed a negro.  Didn’t nothing happen to him though—just killed him and about a month ago a girl was shot—somebody shot into her house and shot her kid.  But they have a little organization down in the community called Lancford around—and they have their guns.  They have their guns and that’s the type of organization, it’s a defense organization.[36]

Akinyele Umoja found that armed self-defense played a role in virtually every Mississippi town in which civil rights activists organized.  It is remarkable that collective armed resistance developed in so many places, without much in the way of national coordination.
Experiences like this undermine the idea that the civil rights movement was most effective as a purely nonviolent movement.  Armed self-defense proved critical to protecting blacks from vigilante terror and forcing federal government intervention.  Even the Civil Rights Act of 1964 might not have been passed without the urban rebellions of that summer.  Violence, argues Lance Hill, “provided moderates with a negotiating power that they had never enjoyed before.”[37] 
SNCC adapted itself to the changing climate.  This shift occurred largely at the grassroots level without a change in SNCC’s official position.  Through the summer of 1964, SNCC nationally took no position on armed self-defense, yet local SNCC activists found themselves on armed patrols of communities in accordance with norms established by black southerners.  SNCC members were receptive to new ideas because of how closely they lived and worked with poor and working-class black southerners.  SNCC’s relationship to a mass base was critical in allowing the organization to adapt itself to a new political moment.  The story of armed self-defense is an essential part of the history of the civil rights movement, demonstrating that the black freedom struggle did in fact proceed “by any means necessary.”  A pragmatic approach to the questions of nonviolent direct action and armed self-defense ultimately proved to be most consistent with the interests and aspirations of the South’s black majority.

[1]   Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981), 111-152; Charles M. Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 204-206; Akinyele O. Umoja, “1964: The Beginning of the End of Nonviolence in the Mississippi Freedom Movement,” Radical History Review 85, no.3 (Winter 2003), 201-226; Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (New York: Bantam, 1987), 146, 216; Timothy B. Tyson, Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 291; Lance Hill, The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).
[2]   “Statement of Purpose,” The Student Voice, June 1960 in Clayborn Carson, ed., The Student Voice, 1960-1965: Periodical of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (Westport: Meckler, 1990), 2
[3]  Carson, 19-30.
[4]  James Forman, The Making of Black Revolutionaries (New York: Macmillan Company, 1972), 149-150.
[5]  Transcript of Robert E. Wright Oral History Interview, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University (MRSC, HU), 21.
[6]  Charles Jones, interview by Emily Stoper, in Emily Stoper, ed., The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee:The Growth of Radicalism in a Civil Rights Organization (Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing Inc., 2nd ed., 1989), 175.
[7]   The Student Voice, September 23, 1964, in Carson, ed., 191-193.
[8]   “Bomb Blasts Rock McComb,” The Student Voice, September 23, 1964, in Carson, ed., 192.
[9]   Umoja, 216-220; John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 308-313; Payne, 316; Hill, 260; “Union Arms Against KKK,” The Student Voice, November 25, 1964, in Carson, ed., 199.
[10]   Carson, 3.
[11]   Jack M. Bloom, Class, Race, and the Civil Rights Movement (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 186-213.
[12]  Transcript of Travis Britt Oral History Interview, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University (MSRC, HU), 12-13.
[13]  Transcript of Richard E. Wright Oral History Interview, MSRC, HU, 22.
[14]  Akinyele O. Umoja, “1964: The Beginning of the End of Nonviolence in the Mississippi Freedom Movement,” Radical History Review 85, no.3 (Winter 2003), 214.
[15]  Transcript of Charles Scattergood Oral History Interview, MSRC, HU, 30-31.
[16]  Umoja, Radical History Review, 211.
[17]  Dittmer, 257.  Dovie Hudson quoted in Barbara Summers, ed., I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America (New York: Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 1989), 160.
[18]  Umoja, Radical History Review, 213.
[19]  Payne, 279-280.
[20]  Umoja, Radical History Review, 204-207; Hill, 19.  Oddly, this debate is not discussed by Clayborne Carson.
[21]  Umoja, Radical History Review, 221.  The quotation from Bob Moses is from an interview with the author.
[22] Carson, 164.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Foreman, 453; Carson, 161.
[25] Carson, 164.
[26]  Cleveland Sellers, The River of No Return: The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC (New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc., 1973), 147.
[27]  Bloom, 205.
[28]  Transcript of George Raymond Oral History Interview, MSRC, HU, 9-10.
[29]  Hill, 260.
[30]  Ibid.
[31]   Carson, 135-136; Manning Marable, Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-199, 2nd ed. (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1991), 90-91.
[32]  Akinyele O. Umoja, “The Ballot and the Bullet: A Comparative Analysis of Armed Resistance in the Civil Rights Movement,” Journal of Black Studies 29, no.4 (March 1999), 558.
[33]  Fred Brooks, Interview, November 29, 1967, MRSC, HU.  This interview is not transcribed.
[34]  Hill, 259.
[35]  Payne, 205-206.
[36]  Transcript of George Raymond Oral History Interview, MSRC, HU, 13.
[37]  Hill, 262.

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