June 1965, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Meeting, Jackson, Mississippi
Born in 1912 in Mobile, Alabama and raised in Canton, Mississippi, Annie Devine worked for the black-owned Security Life Insurance Company before she became involved in the civil rights movement. In 1964 and 1965, Devine played a role in the efforts of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), an insurgent group of primarily black Mississippians founded by the Conference of Federated Organizations, to challenge the Democratic Party’s racist and exclusionary electoral practices in the state. She remained active in local Mississippi politics and social justice projects well into her eighties. On June 1965, Devine delivered an impromptu address at a MFDP meeting held in Jackson, Mississippi. This chapter includes Devine’s speech, in which she lashed at the civil rights community for apparently showing no concern for hundreds of youth jailed for protesting the allegedly illegally constituted Mississippi legislature. She also criticized the state legislature for trying to circumvent some of the provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
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