In the first program in this series, we'll be joined by Ms. Flonzie Brown Wright and Larry Rubin.
In 1968, Ms. Flonzie Brown Wright became the first African American woman to hold a position as elected commissioner in Mississippi. In this role, she monitored elections, trained poll workers, supervised registrars, and sued the Elections Board for discriminating against black candidates and poll workers. Between 1969 and 1973, Brown Wright served as vice president of the Institute of Politics at Millsaps College, and from 1974 to 1989, she worked for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1994, she published her bestselling book, Looking Back to Move Ahead.
Larry Ruben was a SNCC organizer in Southwest Georgia and Northern Mississippi, working to support Black Southerners who were risking their lives to exercise their right to vote. Rubin grew up in a secular Jewish household in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rubin’s father was a welder and his mother a hairdresser. Both were active in the progressive movement. His parents instilled in him the idea that the “essence of being Jewish is the responsibility to fight for justice.” When SNCC asked white organizers to form their own projects in white communities to fight racism Rubin started organizing poor whites, then became a union organizer and communications specialist and served four terms on the Takoma Park, Maryland City Council.
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