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We Might 'Overcome Someday': West Tennessee's Rural Freedom Movement

Ballantyne, K (2020) We Might 'Overcome Someday': West Tennessee's Rural Freedom Movement. Journal of Contemporary History, 56 (1). pp. 117-141. ISSN 0022-0094

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After white landowners evicted black sharecroppers in late 1960 for registering to vote, activists in Fayette and Haywood Counties organized ‘Tent Cities' in a bid to focus national media attention on their plight. Over the decade, it developed into a wide-reaching campaign for desegregation in public accommodations and education, welfare reform, voting rights, and sustained community improvement measures. This little-known episode significantly advances scholarly understanding of rural civil rights activism. Notably this story reveals complex dualities including: a local grassroots movement bolstered by a national framework of organizations and social networks; leadership on national, state and local levels; collaboration despite tensions along race, age, class and gender lines; coexistence of nonviolent strategies and armed self-defense; and varied initiatives demonstrating activists’ focus on local needs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arts & Humanities; History; civil rights; student activism; Tennessee; violence; voting rights; 2103 Historical Studies; History
Subjects: E History America > E11 America (General)
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Sage
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2023 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2023 08:58
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/0022009420961449
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18614
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