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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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Dorothy Cotton

Dorothy Cotton

June 18, 1965, Scope Orientation Session, Alabama

(p.292) Dorothy Cotton
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

University Press of Mississippi

Born during the Great Depression in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Dorothy Lee Foreman Cotton was a civil rights activist who put herself through school at Shaw University by working as a housekeeper for university president William Russell Strassner. Cotton earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Library Science at Virginia State University. She worked for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1960 to 1968 and for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia from 1968 to 1978. From 1978 to 1981, she was the southeast regional director of ACTION, a federal agency for volunteer programs, under Jimmy Carter’s administration. On June 18, 1965, Cotton spoke at an orientation session of the Summer Community Organization and Political Education Program (SCOPE) in Alabama. SCOPE is a voter registration program that recruits mostly white volunteers to help in expanding suffrage to African Americans in Alabama. This chapter reproduces Cotton’s SCOPE speech.

Keywords:   speech, Dorothy Lee Foreman Cotton, civil rights, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SCOPE, Alabama, voter registration, volunteers, suffrage, African Americans

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