Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Committee Chair

Dr. Kevin Greene

Committee Chair Department

History

Committee Member 2

Dr. Max Grivno

Committee Member 2 Department

History

Committee Member 3

Dr. Chester M. Morgan

Committee Member 3 Department

History

Abstract

During the Civil Rights Movement, Mississippi has often been characterized as a simple battle of white racists against black activists. Drawing heavily on oral histories, personal publications, and Mississippi Sovereignty Commission reports, this thesis examines the unconventional stories of white southerners who transcended the segregationist environments in which they were born. As southern white activism took many forms, this work offers biographical insights to three individuals who have received little scholarly attention: journalist P.D East, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) activist Buford Posey, and William Carey president Ralph Noonkester. While their contributions between 1950-1971 differed, being white and active in the Deep South connects all three lives. A closer examination of what spurred their involvement sheds light on how activism should be defined, how it developed, and how it was received in Mississippi.

ORCID ID

orcid.org/0000-0002-1599-543X

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