We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns: The Kids who Fought for Civil Rights in Mississippi

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Syracuse University Press, 2009 - History - 332 pages
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No one experienced the 1964 Freedom Summer quite like Tracy Sugarman. As an illustrator and journalist, Sugarman covered the nearly one thousand student volunteers who traveled to the Mississippi Delta to assist black citizens in the South in registering to vote. He interviewed these activists, along with local civil rights leaders and black and white residents not directly involved in the movement, and drew the people and events that made the summer one of the most heroic chapters in America's long march toward racial justice.

In We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns, Sugarman chronicles the sacrifices, tragedies, and triumphs of that unprecedented moment in our nation's history. Two white students and one black student were slain in the struggle, many were beaten and hundreds arrested, and churches and homes were burned to the ground by the opponents of equality. Yet the example of Freedom Summer- whites united with heroic black Mississippians to challenge apartheid-resonated across the nation. The United States Congress was finally moved to pass the civil rights legislation that enfranchised the millions of black Americans who had been waiting for equal rights for a century.

Blending oral history with memoir, We Had Sneakers, They Had Guns draws the reader into the lives of Sugarman's subjects, showing the passion and naiveté of the volunteers, the bravery of the civil rights leaders, and the candid, sometimes troubling reactions of the black and white Delta residents. Sugarman's unique reportorial art, in word and image, makes this book a vital record of our nation's past.

 

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WE HAD SNEAKERS THEY HAD GUNS

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Sugarman (Stranger at the Gates: A Summer in Mississippi), a participant in Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964-65, where the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worked for voter ... Read full review

Contents

Charles McLaurin
3
Charles McLaurin
6
Oxford
7
Rev Jim Lawson
8
Oxford Ohio orientation
10
A black female student volunteer
12
Student audience
15
The Delta
26
Liz
151
Liz Fusco with Ruleville women
152
Farewell to the Lindseys
157
Farewell to the Delta
162
A black boy
163
Part Three The Roads from the Delta
165
Legacy
167
Summer volunteers in Ruleville
168

Rev Bruce Hanson National Council of Churches
27
Mr James Williams
30
The Williams bedroom
31
Goodman Schwerner Chaney
32
Student volunteers at the meeting
33
Communications Center at the Freedom House
34
First student meeting in Ruleville
36
The Lindseys
40
A white volunteer with black family in Drew
50
Blacks Whites and Whites
52
A worried black woman
53
Drew
56
Charles McLaurin addressing group
57
Jim Dann and other arrested volunteers giving deposition
59
The first arrests in Drew
63
Volunteer Jeff Sacher
70
Freedom School
72
Arrival of volunteers at the Freedom House
73
Students unloading lumber
74
Volunteers unloading books at Freedom School
75
Books from the orientation in Ohio
77
Typing class
78
Freedom School nutrition class
79
Fannie Lou Hamer
81
Fannie Lou Hamer instructing new voters
84
Drawing Conclusions
86
Charles McLaurin at first organizing meeting in Ruleville
87
Cotton fields in Ruleville
89
Going to register at the Indianola courthouse
90
Indianola
91
First outdoor meeting in Indianola
92
The Civil Rights Bill
99
Mrs Rennie Williams and her granddaughter
100
Birth of a Party
102
Part Two Return to the Delta
111
June 1965
113
Seals Grocery on Highway 41
115
An elderly black tenant farmer
118
Return to the Lindseys
119
Durrough
126
Three ladies from the Sanctified Quarter
127
Richard
132
Rennie Williams at kitchen table
133
Linda
136
Linda Davis with Freedom School students
137
Cephus
142
Watchful teenagers
143
The blessed shadow of the Sanctified Church
144
Marguerite
147
Three teenage canvassers from Ruleville
148
My Road
170
Bette Lindsey
172
June Johnson
175
Dorsey
181
Charlie Cobb
183
First organizing meeting in Mound Bayou
186
Martha Honey
192
Student volunteer Martha Honey
193
Owen Brooks
195
Leslie McLemore
197
In Memoriam
199
Linda Davis
202
Linda Davis with dance class
203
John Lewis
210
Calling Washington
211
Nonviolence
214
Charles McLaurin with student volunteers
215
Julian Bond
221
Canvassing voters in Drew
222
Part Four Mississippi October 2001
231
Return to Ruleville
235
The James Williams house in Ruleville
237
Jack Harper
252
Summer volunteers in Indianola
253
Losing the Children
255
Indianola teenagers
262
The Story to Tell
264
Young Power
266
Standing on Shoulders
269
Long Time Passing
275
Organizing meeting
276
Dale Gronemeier
277
Dale Gronemeier
278
Len Edwards
280
Len Edwards describing torching of the Ruleville church
281
Picket line in Greenville
282
Fortieth Reunion 2004
284
Confrontation with white students from Delta State
285
Jim Dann
287
Jim Dann with potential voters in Indianola
288
John Harris
293
Freedom Day celebration in Cleveland Mississippi
295
Liz Fusco
300
Liz Fusco with Freedom School teachers
301
Volunteers at Freedom School
305
Chris Hexter
307
Unsettling Memories
314
Crossing the Highway
318
Not a Stranger
330
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About the author (2009)

Tracy Sugarman is a nationally recognized illustrator whose art has appeared in magazines and books, and has been featured on PBS, ABC TV, NBC TV, and CBS TV. His entire collection of art from World War II has been acquired by the U.S. Library of Congress. He is the author of Stranger at the Gates: A Summer in Mississippi, My War: A Love Story in Letters and Drawings, and Drawing Conclusions: An Artist Discovers His America

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