Hands on the Freedom Plow Panel Discussion and Book Signing Featuring the Women of SNCC, March 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

March 3, 2011
News Release

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will host a panel discussion with editors and contributors to the recently published book Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Carmichael Auditorium at the National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; however, those wishing to attend must make reservations by calling (202) 633-0070.

In the book, published by the University of Illinois Press, 52 women—Northern and Southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white and Latina—share their courageous personal stories of working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on the front lines of the civil rights movement.

The testimonies gathered in the book present a sweeping personal history of SNCC’s early sit-ins, voter registration campaigns and Freedom Rides, as well as the 1963 March on Washington, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Black Power and antiwar movements. Since the women spent time in the Deep South, many also describe risking their lives, enduring beatings and arrests and witnessing unspeakable violence. The intense stories of the—at the time—young women, will be shared during the daylong event.

The participants include editors Faith S. Holsaert, Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, Judy Richardson, Betty Garman Robinson, Jean Smith Young and Dorothy M. Zellner. Also scheduled to participate are contributors Bettie Mae Fikes, Rutha Mae Harris, Jeannette V. King, Joyce Ladner, Joann Christian Mants, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, Gwen Patton, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing following the panel discussion.

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