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How did young white women like Elaine De Lott get involved?Traditional patterns of religious and secular philanthropy drew her and others to Mississippi; she arrived in Mississippi as part of a foundation grant that sent Harvard University students to be supplemental summer school faculty at Tougaloo College, a historically Black institution founded by northern missionaries in 1869, in Tougaloo, Mississippi, a suburb of Jackson, the state capital.SNCC began as a coordinating committee for the sit-in movement in 1960, and shifted in 1964 to work on voter registration in local communities, there partnering with local Black leaders in new forms of activism, democratic practice and resistance."Freedom" became an overarching goal that united the college-educated young people with more experienced community leaders.She became Vice President of New England Young Judea, and a Zionist.Admitted to Radcliffe, she postponed college to spend a year in Israel and lived on a kibbutz where she witnessed and imitated the example of women's social leadership and sexual autonomy.

Her documents assembled here show that SNCC activists--white and Black--confronted danger and violence in ways that fostered their ongoing personal transformation as well as social change.Part I acquaints us with SNCC and "freedom" within the Black Freedom Movement.Part II outlines how Black women and white women in SNCC experienced "freedom" differently.Her father left school in the 8th grade to help support his family, working as a plumber's helper.Her maternal grandmother, Esther, lived downstairs and modeled high ethical standards, never gossiping, reading the Bible every day, and always scrupulous in human relationships.

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