Peace & Justice Conversations: The American History of Voter Suppression Against Black People

Start: Monday, October 25, 2021 7:00 PM

Voter suppression has a long history in the United States, beginning with Reconstruction and dominating Southern politics during the first half of the twentieth century. The "Freedom Summer" of 1964 in Mississippi was a key confrontation with the tactics and system of voter suppression. Jim Kates was privileged to be part of that confrontation. What did it accomplish, what did it fail to accomplish, and what can we learn from it as the repressive policies of the nineteenth century are being revived nationwide in the twenty-first?

James Kates born in 1945, in White Plains, New York, volunteered for the Mississippi Summer Project after his freshman year at Wesleyan University, and spent that summer helping to implement a special court order encouraging voter registration in Panola County. In the fall of 1964, he organized a Friends of SNCC/COFO in Paris, France, to support the work of the American civil-rights movement. He returned to Mississippi in 1965, working in Natchez, and later became a public school teacher, a nonviolence trainer for interpersonal and political movements, a poet and a literary translator. Since 1997, he has co-directed the non-profit literary publishing house Zephyr Press, publishers of Letters from Mississippi: Reports from Civil Rights Volunteers & Poetry of the 1964 Freedom Summer. A contributor to the anthologies What Does It Mean to Be White in America? and Black Lives Have Always Mattered, he is also a member of the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.

About NHPA’s bi-weekly Zoom Peace & Justice Conversation Series: 2020's upheavals brought us to a new moment of reckoning and possibility. How do we want to live in the world? What do we value? How can we make the changes we’ve been yearning for? NH Peace Action has been engaged in working for change for decades. We’d like to bring you into these conversations about issues and options for the future. Join us!

There is no charge to attend, but your contributions in any amount are greatly appreciated:

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Concord, NH