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Collision and Collusion

Collision and Collusion

Local Activism, Local Agency, and Flexible Alliances

(p.35) Collision and Collusion
The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi
Françoise N. Hamlin
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines how people organized themselves in Mississippi by focusing on the Delta city of Clarksdale from the 1950s through the 1990s. More specifically, it considers how activists in different groups made pragmatic use of the differences among those groups and how the unique challenges they faced brought about a great deal of creativity. It highlights specific moments when local activism by African Americans worked best, or at least when the impact proved more enduring. It also looks at the daily occurrence of negotiations and collisions in pursuit of larger shared goals of black freedom, citizenship, and justice. The chapter cites examples of what it calls “flexible alliances” among local people and leaders and their relationship to the NAACP. Finally, it assesses the role of two leading figures in the Mississippi civil rights movement: Amzie Moore and Aaron Henry.

Keywords:   local activism, Mississippi, Clarksdale, African Americans, freedom, flexible alliances, NAACP, civil rights movement, Amzie Moore, Aaron Henry

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