Yesterday I again had the opportunity to spend time learning from Charles (Chuck) McDew, who was the first chair of SNCC. This is not the first time I’ve heard him speak, but each time is a treasured experience. He related, for my first hearing, that much of the planning for SNCC had been done in Minnesota because this state did not have laws against white people and black people being in the same room together. When Mr. McDew retired from Metropolitan State University, he spoke at that graduation ceremony. He related that when all from SNCC were in a county jail one night in Mississippi, they promised each other that whoever survived that night would teach and write about what they were trying to do and did accomplish in extending voters’ rights for African-American people in Mississippi. It is stunning to note that when the SNCC decided to do take on voters’ rights, most of them were between 16-19 years old! Mr. McDew showed film taken at the time and I was equally struck with the courage of the people who attempted to register. One was a widower with 9 daughters. Someone like that had so much to lose while trying to gain something.
P.S. Well I have a bit to learn yet about creating postings. I wrote the above in Word so that I could add hyperlinks. That didn't work.
To learn more about SNCC, please see: http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/
For information about Mr. McDew please see: http://www.charlesmcdew.com/
I feel so very fortunate to again have had the opportunity to touch a moment in history.