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Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965$
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Davis W. Houck and David E. Dixon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604731071

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604731071.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 07 May 2021

Victoria Gray

Victoria Gray

May 1964, Wisconsin

(p.251) Victoria Gray
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

University Press of Mississippi

Born on November 5, 1926, in the all-black community of Palmer’s Crossing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Victoria Jackson Gray Adams got involved in the civil rights movement by accident. In the spring of 1962, Adams was contacted by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) field workers Curtis Hayes and Hollis Watkins, who were looking for a place to hold movement meetings in Hattiesburg. Adams was one of the first volunteers to try and register to vote, and one of the few women to serve on the national board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) while Martin Luther King Jr. was president. In May 1964, Adams addressed a northern audience in Wisconsin. This chapter presents Adams’s speech, in which she discussed voting legislation embodied in the pending Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the realities and repercussions of voter registration for blacks in Mississippi.

Keywords:   speech, Victoria Jackson Gray Adams, civil rights movement, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Wisconsin, voting, Civil Rights Act of 1964, voter registration, blacks, Mississippi

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