First of all, I thought that Wednesdays was a very brave, innovative moral thrust into the human neglect and abuse of civil rights violations. It was the most innovative and total participatory attack on civil rights abuses from a community approach that had so differed from the politician’s approach. This, I thought, was a people-to-people approach; and that, I thought, was how it was so different and so appropriate, so unique to work with the people most effective very much on a one-to-one basis as opposed through any of the existing political processes starting with the president down and going to all of the different national organizations that had some sort of a political base. This was not a political base. It was nonpartisan, and it was really, I think, from heart to heart and from mind to heart… I think the civil rights movement would have been incomplete if present and future generations only thought of it as a political process led by political leaders, and that individuals like myself didn’t have an opportunity to both express their concerns and to participate in trying to build bridges. Rights Owner: National Park Service/Mary McLeod Bethune Council House Description: This excerpt comes from an oral history interview with Wednesdays in Mississippi participant Beatrice “Buddy” Cummings Mayer by Holly Cowan Shulman in Chicago in 2002 for a project about Wednesdays in Mississippi. In it Mayer explains how the project was designed as a person-to-person experience.
Suggested Discussion Questions:
For lesson plans on Wednesdays in Mississippi project, visit http://jwa.org/teach/livingthelegacy/civilrights/community-organizing-ii-wednesdays-in-mississippi
Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)