Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Ella Baker, a unsung hero of the Cival Rights movements, organized the meeting that eventually formed Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. This was in response to organize the sit-ins currently going on in the country. The first chairman of SNCC was Marion Berry, who would eventually become the mayor of Washington D.C. The decisions were not made by the chairman however but by the committee's general consensus. While organizing the sit-ins they also participated in the freedom rides and became to be known as the "Shock Troops" of the revolution by riding through the deep south in racially-integrated commercial buses. SNCC expanded it's efforts to voter registration, in an attempt to allow black voters easier access to ballots. Their efforts were met with great hostility in Mississippi, where one SNCC member was murdered and three others were lynched. Although SNCC's efforts received national attention, voters rights made little progress. This defeat pushed SNCC into politics, where they tried to win government seats in Mississippi. This again was met with great admonishment, and were politically derailed by the President and other politicians. With another defeat, SNCC turned to the "Black Power" movement and changed their name to Student National Coordinating Committee. They tried to use physical force when thought necessary. This eventually destroyed the organization ending in early 1970.
We have been taught from birth to obey laws, including government, society, and parental. After reading Letter from Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King one sentence stood out to me. "One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly, and with the willingness to accept the penalty". If you truly believe in what you do and it is the right thing. Dr. King tells us to do it with all of our heart or we will fail.