Please choose TWO of the documents below. Write four paragraphs that adhere to the following guidelines. Your first paragraph should briefly describe each document. You may describe the main points, the authors, the movements that the document are associated with, etc. The second paragraph should compare the two documents. The third paragraph should contrast the two documents. The fourth paragraph should describe your personal opinions about each document.
You may select documents from the same category or documents from different categories- the choice is yours! For example, you may choose two documents that deal with Black Power or you may choose one document that deals with Black Power and one that deals with the Mexican American Protest Movement.
Be creative with your choices! It is easy, for example, to compare Martin Luther King with Malcolm X. Think outside of the box!
Your assignment should be typed, in Times New Roman 12 point font. It should follow standard grammatical rules (each paragraph needs at least 4 sentences, you should have topic sentences, etc.) Your paper should also be spell checked. I will deduct points for incorrect format or for grammatical/spelling mistakes! STAPLE YOUR PAPERS BEFORE CLASS
The two Articles
The Gay Liberation Front, Come Out (1970)
The Stonewall riot was a turning point for gay and lesbian Americans. In June 1979, police raided the Stonewall Bar in New York. The raid itself was not an uncommon occurrence, but when gay patrons fought back, the incident became a rallying point for a new era in gay rights. Gay communities in large cities such as New York and San Francisco had organized years before, but this new militancy was the hallmark of a younger generation. One result of Stonewall was the establishment of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), an organization that stressed the importance of “coming out,” or publicly and proudly announcing one’s homosexuality. The interview excerpted below provides evidence of the connections between the gay rights movement and other movements of the era.
Note: The American Psychiatric Association categorized homosexuality as a mental disorder until 1973.
Pat: The first question I would like to ask you to discuss is what is your concept of the movement?
Kay: People are always asking me what the movement means, I am always asking other people what the movement means, and I don’t quite know myself. For 9 or 10 years, the movement has meant to me personally the peace movement.
Bernard: Kay, the movement means something a little bit wider than you have expressed. Movements have developed all over the world, and the movement has meant to me-I’ve been in the movement over 50 years-any attempt to change. Whether it be political change, social change, or economic change. The movement, as I understand it, means that people organize or even work privately and individually to make changes in the country. Historically there are times when you work individually, and there have been times when the movement catches up masses of people as it did in Russia before the revolution. Now the movement includes people who want to make changes whether they be Panthers who are changing the system for black people, or Woman’s Liberation who are concerned with changes for women, or socialists who are concerned with changes in the system. Or whether it be an organization like the Gay Liberation Front concerned with fighting against the oppression of homosexuals, but fighting within the framework of the wider movement. These problems are not isolated, but within the context of the oppression of the system against us all.
Bob: The movement today gets me a little up-tight. I find people saying I am the movement. The movement can be 5 people who refuse to pay the subway fare. During the Christmas week vigil there was a little old lady marching with me and she had on her Dove button. She was terribly non-violent and marching for what she believed was right: she wanted political prisoners freed. A cop hassled us and I was very angry. I called him a pig. She said, “Let me do it.” She was sort of a hooker type-sort of a tough old broad, and she charmed him. She came back and said, “You have your way, and I have mine.” That’s true. This woman is as much a part of the movement as I, even though we are working in different ways.
Pat: I would like to ask you specifically-what ways have you found to get involved in the movement?
Bernard: Well, my first activity was when I was 5 years old. My parents had organized the first Student Friends of the Russian Revolution. I had a tray of little red flags and I put them on people and got money from them. When I was about 13 lots of us were arrested for picketing and handing out leaflets and demonstrating. We were helping the workers who were locked out, we were protesting the war budgets, we were protesting growing unemployment. At college, I helped organize the first NSL-The National Student League-which is the granddaddy of all student organizations. Also the John Reed Club. As time went on I got more and more involved but always from a political end because I was convinced that nothing but a change in the system could change the oppressions against blacks, against women, against children who were being unfairly employed at the time. Also against homosexuals. Now I’m working with homosexuals in the movement because I’m convinced that only in getting our rightful place in the movement and demanding an end to our own oppression can we ever really make changes for homosexuals.
Bob: I was instrumental in forming the 7 Arts chapters of CORE [Congress of Racial Equality]. Most of my past work has been with non-whites. In this chapter we demanded rights for Black people in show business. The first thing we did was break down the industrial shows. No non-caucasian had ever been hired. We threw a picket line around 8th Ave. and 57th St. where most of the Auto show rooms are. We also got off to the World’s Fair-that was one of the times I was busted.
Kay: It seems that we had been arrested together. I was arrested at the World’s Fair too. Politics make strange cell mates. I think I got into the movement first as a Quaker. As a Quaker I looked out my window in the West Village and noticed a lot of children smashing things. I thought in a few years they’ll be big enough to push the button and, you know, somebody ought to do something now. I sort of got kidnapped by the children and started a thing called Workshop of Children which I ran for three years. During this time the civil rights thing was building up but since I was working with these children who had a great deal of trouble with the law, I felt I couldn’t be arrested. I thought they couldn’t distinguish between civil disobedience and crime exactly. However, as soon as that thing folded I was delighted to go to jail at the CORE demonstration you referred to, Bob.
Bob: I wasn’t delighted.
Kay: I volunteered to be arrested and the Pinkerton men were so new and so non-violent it was really difficult. I finally had to dance on the bar at the Schaffer Pavillion. Then I worked with the Survivors of Nagasaki Hiroshima who were traveling around the world. I worked with the people at New England Committee for Non-violent Action. We participated in the blockade at the missile base of Lamakaza, in Canada, at the white house, at prisons, and at submarine bases. And I went into the Peace Corps. I can’t think of any other exciting things to brag about.
Bob: I went south after the civil rights bill was signed. We went to a public swimming pool in one demonstration. Myself, a very big black girl, and a black boy. We had a big hassle getting in; but finally we demanded in, and we got in. We joined hands and jumped into the water. There were about 50 people when we got there and in one or two seconds there were three. . . .
Bernard: In the early days of demonstrations the thing we had to fear the most were the mounted police. Most of us were under the hooves of police horses all the time. Young children, men, women-even old people. What I found was that this kind of reaction to us brought a stronger commitment from us. And also brought more and more people to the movement. I wonder if the powers that be are aware that they build the movement themselves with their actions.
Pat: It seems here as you talk about your own experiences and some of the thoughts and feelings which have come to you from those experiences we’re getting a fuller meaning of the word oppression. So we might tie it up here by saying the movement is making changes in the establishment where it oppresses us. Your experiences seem to have been radicalizing. If you are in a situation where you see the extreme degrees of the establishment oppression-you see the actual physical effects on people-you become radicalized. Like you were saying, Bernard-about-
Bernard: -about the system being it’s worst enemy.
Pat: I would like to ask you how you see the Gay Liberation Movement.
Bernard: I see the Gay Liberation Movement as a process which will help liberate gay people by making them fully part of the whole liberation movement. The movement for change in the system that will eventually annihilate any form of oppression. Before GLF I was active in these movements, but anonymously-nobody was conscious of the fact that I was homosexual. I think the only way we can gain respect for ourselves and any of the help that we need from everyone else in overcoming our oppression is by showing that we participate even though they don’t understand why we participate. I think even among a lot of our own people we have to fight for the right to participate as homosexuals.
Bob: I’ve always been active as a homosexual. Openly, but never publicly. In the past six or seven months I have suddenly found myself living the life of a public homosexual. I find resentment in many parts of the movement. When I find it, I confront it. This is very healthy for me; and it’s very healthy for the movement. We can’t hold the movement up as being any better or any worse than the rest of us. Gay Liberation to me is seeing 35 or 40 homosexuals marching as homosexuals in a vigil to free political prisoners. We have been political prisoners, and we will be political prisoners. Homosexuals are beginning to see themselves as an oppressed minority. I don’t think homosexuality is a magic tie that binds us all but in a sense there is something. It’s being proud of ourselves. And I think that’s what liberation will help us find-a pride that we can just stand up and be proud of ourselves as human beings.
Bernard: I want to bring up the past in one way. When I was among young people, we had no way of expressing this. I never felt sick, although the attitude then was that we were a sickness. I could only fight this when I talked to individuals. We had no public way of fighting it. And it’s exciting to be able to do it now, and the fight must be a very conscious fight.
Bob: Kay, do you have anything to say? Say something, we’ll have Women’s Liberation after us if you don’t.
Kay: I’m very new in GLF and I don’t have a great deal to say to people who want to know what it is. I see half of the gay liberation as a sort of attempt to try to change other people outside of ourselves-to try to make them stop oppressing us. But the half that interests me most now, at the beginning of my gay liberation, is self liberation. I was never open or public. I always felt that I had to be a secret homosexual, and I was terrified. Indeed I am now. This article is the first time I have ever come out in a public way, and I find that a great deal of the oppression is built into myself-is built into us. So I still expect when I come out, people are going to dislike me because I am homosexual. People do dislike homosexuals. On the other hand, I myself have disliked my own homosexuality, so perhaps it’s not going to be as bad as I thought.
Bernard: Although I haven’t been a public homosexual, among my friends, it was always known. What interests me now is that, although I was completely loved, for me, being a homosexual, I find that now that I’m getting active in GLF there’s a resentment. People wonder why I have to work as a homosexual in the movement. Why I can’t take it up wherever I am in the movement. I don’t think you can take it up wherever you are in the movement. It’s only possible when we are working as a homosexual to take it up. I think that we should-those of us who can-be public as well as open.
One Volunteer’s Freedom Summer, 1964 9 of 25
Freedom Summer volunteer Terri Shaw traveled south to Mississippi to work at the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) office in Hattiesburg. COFO was the coalition of workers from SNCC, SCLC, CORE, and the NAACP.
Her days in the nerve center of local operations put her in the perfect position to observe voter registration and education activities; responses from local people, black and white; and the birth of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Her account, written in 1964 but not published, forms a part of the Civil Rights in Mississippi Archive at the University of Southern Mississippi.
… the weeklong orientation session at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, should have prepared us for everything that happened this summer. We were exposed to every possibility and given guidelines for behavior in almost any contingency…
… lessons were given in how to protect your vital organs while being beaten and what happens when a mob gets out of hand. In an auditorium more often used for assemblies and class days, stories were told of beatings and shootings and bombings, by the witnesses themselves…
…The battle scarred veterans who tried to prepare us for what we might meet in Mississippi were mostly young field secretaries of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)…
…Traveling through the South in an integrated car is an experience every white American should have. The full impact of what segregation in public accommodations has meant to Negro Americans is a sobering experience. No matter how hot and dusty it gets, you have to think twice about stopping for a drink, and usually there is no place you can stop at all. No matter how tired you are, the motels “owned and operated by colored” are few and far between. And with a white girl in the car, you have to keep driving fast, and choose the places to buy gas with extreme caution…
…[In] Meridian… I heard my first Mississippi news broadcast:
“The so-called Council of Federated Organizations announced this morning that three so-called civil rights workers have been missing since last night when they went to Philadelphia to investigate a so-called church burning…”
… We knew right away that there was little hope for the three if they had been missing overnight. We had all been trained to call the office at regular intervals if we were away and never to stay away overnight without letting someone know about it…
Where Shaw Worked and Lived
…Palmers Crossing, a rural area about 3 miles from Hattiesburg, looked… like Guatemala. There is no mail delivery there. Very few families have running water or plumbing of any kind. Few stores are owned by whites and law enforcement is handled by whites…
…My job was called “communications.” … My duties included, handling the press, FBI, Justice Dept. and local law enforcement officers; keeping a daily log; handling telephone communications with the Jackson, Greenwood and Atlanta offices; sending a daily written report to Jackson and weekly reports to the Justice Dept., Atlanta and Greenwood; and an infinite variety of other duties stemming from answering the constantly ringing telephone. The office was hot, hectic, noisy and nerve-wracking, and sometimes I spent as many as 15 hours a day in it. Therefore it was always a great pleasure to come home to the wonderful family that had consented to take me in.
It was pure luck that I was assigned to the Longs….
…Mr. [John Gould] Long had built up his own business on Mobile St., and had also done many different sorts of work to provide his family with a comfortable home and financial security. Unlike other volunteers, I made no sacrifice as far as living conditions were concerned. My roommate, a freedom school teacher, and I shared a large, comfortable room. Mr. Long, now retired, is a college graduate who tried to register to vote and to form a Negro Voters League, back in the 40’s. He is well-read and informed, especially in national, state and local politics. However, because the local registrar, who never went beyond sixth grade, failed him every time he took the voter registration test, Mr. Long was not able to vote until his case figured in a Justice Dept. suit.
Mixed Reception from the Locals
…The ladies of the Negro community pitched in immediately to see that we were well taken care of. During the first few weeks of the summer they served huge lunches to all 60 volunteers every day in the office. Later, when the freedom schools were set up, equally huge lunches were served in four separate churches every weekday. Several ladies took in washing and one made her bathtub available to the volunteers who lived in Palmers Crossing and other areas without running water.
Our reception from the white community was not so warm. After the first meeting, held the day we arrived, two cars drove past the office tossing out handfuls of most scurrilous hate literature I have ever seen.
Another night a caravan of about a dozen cars drove slowly past the office. White men in cars, some carrying guns, followed the voter registration workers as they canvassed in the Negro neighborhoods. Other carloads of whites drove up and down in front of the office. Quite often these cars did not have license plates although we never heard of anyone being arrested for failure to have a plate on a car…
… There were a couple of small-time “bombings” which caused no damage but added to the atmosphere of fear. A few local supporters received anonymous telephone calls and threats of assassination. Many more were fired from their jobs or taken off welfare, although this supposedly is illegal. The welfare workers especially delighted in dropping “subtle” hints to Negro welfare recipients. One woman who had nothing to do with the movement was told that she might be taken off the rolls because they had to “cut off some good niggers as well as the bad niggers so it won’t look so bad.”
Local police soon came to know our cars and stopped them frequently. Payment of traffic fines — many undeserved and others for violations which would have gone undetected if committed by anyone else — took an important chunk out of the weekly budget….
Obstacles to Voter Registration
…Thanks to the Justice Department [JD] case, the registration test had been simplified somewhat. Although it still included interpretation of a section of the Mississippi constitution, the registrar had to choose from 14 sections selected by the JD rather than the entire 286. However, it is still up to the registrar to decide whether the interpretation is correct or not, and the JD’s brief has page after page showing tests carelessly written by almost illiterate whites who “passed” contrasted with meticulously accurate interpretations by educated Negroes who, of course, “failed.” The names of all those who take the test are published in the local newspaper for 2 weeks, leaving them open to reprisals.
But even against these formidable odds, many Negroes have gone to the courthouse time and time again, determined to take the test until they pass. Some have tried as many as a dozen times…
… Hattiesburg was a beehive of educational activity. In fact we had less violence and harassment than almost any other projects, especially those in the Southwest and the Delta, both areas with much larger Negro populations and therefore more intense fears among the whites.
The freedom schools were the most impressive part of the program. They were directed by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Reese, Negro secondary school teachers from Detroit. The schools were established in six churches for an initial enrollment of 585 persons. (We had expected about 75).
The oldest student was an 85-year-old man who had taught himself to read, but wanted to learn more in order to take the registration test…
…The community center staff was small, but talented, and a varied program was developed — day care for younger children in the morning, recreation for the older ones in the afternoon, and classes in first aid, sewing and literacy in the evening. Mary Sue Gellatly, white, of Portland, Ore., taught eight persons to read and write and another eight to teach literacy. Phyllis Cunningham, white, RN, of Chicago, got a medical care program going and taught, hygiene and first aid. Both plan to stay in Mississippi indefinitely. A library was set up next door to the office with homemade shelves and handwritten catalogue cards…
Registering Voters and Forming a Party
Voter registration was hot, dusty work. The less than 20 workers were divided into four teams working in three city areas and Palmers Crossing. In Palmers it was particularly difficult to keep records as there were no street names or house numbers. So the workers made their own map and their own street names. The main intersection became the corner of Freedom St. and Now Rd., and other streets were named after famous Negroes and civil rights workers. Three short roads in a corner of the settlement became, poignantly, Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman Sts…
…During the last few weeks of the summer, teams of four ventured into rural counties near Hattiesburg, where both fear among Negroes and harassment on the part of whites, were heavier.
An important part of the work of the voter registration workers was local organization of the Freedom Democratic Party (FDP). Any resident of Forrest County over 21 — literate or illiterate — was eligible to fill out a “freedom registration form,” patterned after the official registration application, but much simpler, and thus become a member of the FDP. One of the purposes of freedom registration, was to disprove the Southern contention that Negroes don’t register to vote simply because they don’t want to.
The next step in the campaign was to elect delegates to the Democratic convention in Atlantic City with a procedure as closely parallel as possible to the procedure used by the MDP. We held four precinct meetings, advertised by legal notices in the newspaper and spot announcements on the one radio station which would accept them. These were followed by a county meeting, a caucus of all the delegations from the sixth congressional district and state convention.
The FDP meetings were very successful in Forrest County. The local people took over the leadership right away, which was one of the main purposes of the program. People like Mr. Long [John Gould] who had been interested observers of the political process for years were delighted at the opportunity to actually participate.
From the precinct meetings, local civic associations also grew, with a minimum of prodding from the voter registration workers. One of the FDP leaders also began to work on a Voters League for those Negroes who finally did get registered.
Violence Against Volunteers
…The… most serious incidents concerning volunteers were beatings. The first occurred on July 10 when the Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld of Cleveland, (a Ministers Project volunteer) and two white male college students were beaten while on their way to one of the churches where lunch was served after a morning of canvassing. They were attacked by two white men who had been following them in a pickup truck without license plates. Shouting “white nigger” and “nigger lover” they beat the rabbi and one of the students with an iron bar. The other student was kicked down an embankment, pummeled and kicked, and finally, his assailant shoved his canvassing notes into his mouth, shouting “eat this… nigger lover.” All three were treated at a hospital and the rabbi was hospitalized over night.
For a city whose white population continually expresses its shock and righteous indignation at the “lawlessness” of New York City, Hattiesburg didn’t do too well that day. White people watched the beating from their porches and front lawns, but no one called the police until other volunteers returned to the scene to look for the rabbi’s glasses.
Both the police chief and the mayor issued strong statements, saying the assailants would be sought and prosecuted for “assault and battery with intent to kill,” a felony. The FBI investigated and a week later, one of the assailants turned himself in. The two were charged with “assault and battery with intent to maim, also a felony, but the grand jury refused to indict them. The district attorney then charged them with simple assault and battery (a misdemeanor) and they each paid a $500 fine. Each also received a suspended sentence of 90 days.
…The civil rights act, signed on July 2, brought little change in Hattiesburg. Some local Negroes tested the lunch counters and were served at Woolworths’s and Kress’s both of which immediately became the objects of Citizens’ Council boycotts. (Mississippi’s anti-boycott law is enforced only against civil rights groups.) Walgreens took the coward’s way out and closed the lunch counter…
Source: Shaw, Terri. “Freedom Summer Recollections.” Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive, The University of Southern Mississippi. http://anna.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/shaw/ts001.htm
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