Civil Rights Movement

Building the Collective “voice of Negro women in Mississippi”: The National Council of Negro Women in Mississippi in the 1960s and 1970s Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW

With this article, Rebecca Tuuri introduces the history, mission, and innovative female leaders who championed the National Council of Negro Women from its inception in 1935 through its spread and successes specifically in the state of Mississippi during the 20th century. Focusing on NCNW’s efforts to unite diverse social and political organizations, Tuuri describes how the National Council for Negro Women has worked to support Black women in achieving leadership roles, promoting health and education, and achieving Black pride in Mississippi communities.

The Citizens' Council Lesson Plan

Teaching Levels

Grades 7 through 12

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies

MS.8.3 - Evaluate the lasting impact of the Civil Rights Movement on Mississippi.

US History: 1877 to Present

US.3.2 - Trace the development of political, social, and cultural movements and subsequent reforms, including: Jim Crow laws, Plessy vs. Ferguson, women’s suffrage, temperance movement, Niagara movement, public education, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Marcus Garvey.

The Citizens' Council

Theme and Time Period

In May 1954, the United States Supreme Court announced in a unanimous decision that segregation—the practice of separating Black and White students, by law, within the public school system—was unconstitutional. That decision, Brown v. Board of Education, set into motion decades of organized, White opposition in southern states that had, since the 1890s, enforced laws to ensure that Black students and White students would not attend the same schools.

Archie Manning: The Story and Significance of a Mississippi Icon Lesson Plan

Overview

As a young man Archie Manning excelled both athletically and academically in the small Delta town of Drew, Mississippi. Upon graduating from high school with valedictorian honors, Manning began his college football career in 1967 at the University of Mississippi. Under the guidance of legendary college coach John Vaught, Archie Manning and the Ole Miss Rebels football team achieved national recognition. Prior to the start of Manning’s senior year in 1970, the Rebels became one of the national favorites in college football.

Archie Manning: The Story and Significance of a Mississippi Icon

Theme and Time Period

Great football players are accustomed to receiving golden trophies and flashy headlines. Football and ballads, however, make for a rare combination. Nevertheless, in 1969, Lamont Wilson, a postman from Magnolia, Mississippi, literally began singing the praises of his favorite player, Ole Miss Rebels’ star quarterback, Archie Manning. Wilson was inspired to write the ballad honoring Manning following the Rebels’ 38-0 demolition of the Tennessee Volunteers during that year’s football season.

The 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools

Theme and Time Period

The 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer was perhaps the most ambitious extended campaign of the entire Civil Rights Movement. Over the course of roughly two months, more than 1,000 volunteers arrived in Mississippi to help draw media attention to the state’s Black freedom movement, to register African American voters, and to teach in Freedom Schools that were established to supplement the inferior educational opportunities provided to black youths in the state’s public schools.

Philadelphia, Mississippi: A Story of Racial Reconciliation

Theme and Time Period

Personal recollections are valuable primary source tools for understanding historical events. They can be in the form of oral histories or written remembrances. The following is the text of a speech given by former secretary of state Dick Molpus at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s “History Is Lunch” program on June 18, 2014. The speech was made in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the murder of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and presented in the House of Representatives Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum, Jackson, Mississippi.

1961 in Mississippi: Beyond the Freedom Riders

Theme and Time Period

Mississippi had pockets of strong local civil rights activity before the Freedom Riders entered the state, but their presence in 1961 propelled the local movement to new heights.

1961 in Mississippi: Beyond the Freedom Riders Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW

Prior to the involvement of national initiatives in the 1960s, such as the Freedom Rides, local people worked to bring an end to discrimination in their communities. These efforts were led out of public view in private homes, churches, and small businesses. For this reason, the early local leaders of the Civil Rights Movement are often overlooked in history.