[Marxism] Brief reflections on the Woolworth Sit-In at Jackson, May, 1963

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at hunterbear.org
Tue Jan 17 05:59:44 MST 2012

>From RBB -

And thanks much to you, Kari -- and others -- for the strong interest in human rights and good multi-cultural work.

We came out of that Woolworth sit-in initially unaware that, by then, the TV shots and various photos had already gone all over this country and the world.

The people -- almost all of them young [but some Klan types and other adults and the ostensibly incognito FBI "observers" with sun glasses] -- had been effectively brainwashed for the whole of their lives via the racist orthodoxy pervading most of the white society in Mississippi and finessed after 1954 by the (white) Citizens Council, whose national headquarters was in Jackson within a stone's throw from the Gov's mansion.  This was not, of course, limited to Mississippi by any stretch.  But Mississippi was a state-wide segregationist complex, a Closed Society as my friend, Prof Jim Silver [History, Ole Miss] termed it in his classic Mississippi: The Closed Society [Harcourt Brace, 1964 and 1966.]

While true racism wears many faces, this was an example of that at about its purest.  It's one of the reasons that I resent it when "racism" is tossed about too freely as a politically convenient label.  Again, there is plenty of racism, sadly, but using the term too broadly and in cavalier fashion as a "convenience weapon" in matters where, properly speaking, it isn't really racism -- well, that just cheapens the term and makes it less meaningful -- less powerful -- as an accurate definition.

I discuss a little of the social psych of the mob in my two WebPages on the "event" -- as well as the fact that the sit-in was a tremendous force in rallying much of the Black community of Jackson and environs right into the middle of the Jackson Movement,

Solidarity Forever,


Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk 
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´ 
and Ohkwari' 
(much social justice material)

See the Stormy Adoption of an Indian Child [My Father]:

For the new, just out (11/2011) and expanded/updated
edition of my "Organizer's Book," JACKSON MISSISSIPPI -- 
with a new and substantial Introduction by me:

Personal Background Narrative (with many links):

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