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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, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2020

Ruth Steiner

Ruth Steiner

December 13, 1964, First Unitarian Society of Denver, Colorado

(p.270) Ruth Steiner
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

University Press of Mississippi

Born in Holtville, California, Ruth Steiner experienced the civil rights movement firsthand as she grew up watching her father fight fervently against the racial discrimination endured by Mexican immigrants in Southern California. This experience, along with her active involvement as a member of the Unitarian Church of Denver, her experiences in the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the influence of CORE chairman Jim Reynolds, convinced Steiner that she had to make a difference. On December 13, 1964, she addressed the First Unitarian Society of Denver in Colorado. This chapter reproduces Steiner’s speech, in which she narrated her participation in the Freedom Vote in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Freedom Vote was aimed at encouraging the blacks of Mississippi to vote in a “mock” election with candidates from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. According to Steiner, the “big enemy of segregation” is multilayered and existentially devastating.

Keywords:   speech, Ruth Steiner, civil rights movement, discrimination, Congress of Racial Equality, First Unitarian Society of Denver, Freedom Vote, Mississippi, blacks, segregation

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