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“Looking the Devil in the Eye”

“Looking the Devil in the Eye”

Race Relations and the Civil Rights Movement in Claiborne County History and Memory

(p.266) “Looking the Devil in the Eye”
The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi
Emilye Crosby
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines history and memory in the context of race relations and the civil rights movement in Mississippi. Focusing on the black freedom struggle in Claiborne County, it considers memories not only as a result of different political perspectives, but also as part of politics. More specifically, it analyzes how both whites and African Americans remember the Claiborne County movement, and what they choose to discuss and omit. It also shows how groups use memories in strategic ways to push for more change, to make a distinction between the present from the past, and address new challenges. In discussing education, a consumer boycott, and a public forum in 1994, the chapter highlights issues of respectability and language, along with their power.

Keywords:   history, memory, race relations, civil rights movement, Mississippi, black freedom, Claiborne County, politics, whites, African Americans

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