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  •  Kumbaya. (3+ / 0-)
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    Yamara, RF, MRA NY

    I recently attended a talk given by one of the participants in the Mississippi Freedom Summer sponsored by SNCC in 1964.

    In the context of a question about how current Left groups can avoid lapsing into parliamentary games, the speaker, now in his 80s, related a story of how the SNCC leadership responded when three of their workers turned up missing (and were finally found dead).  They had to decide how to prod the FBI to look for them, and they needed to determine whether they should continue with their plan to send scores of young people to Mississippi to teach in the Freedom Schools given the level of danger.

    The speaker, a direct participant now in his 80s, told us how the group gathered, formed a circle and quietly sang "Kumbaya."  Once the singing had ended, two members, one of whom was Stokely Carmichael, volunteered to head to Mississippi and go "through the backwoods," talking to African Americans to find out what rumors there were about the civil rights workers' whereabouts.  Then Bob Moses, informal leader of the group, spoke.  He said that everyone understood if anyone wanted to back out of going, but that he was going, and that we would stay with and support anyone who did.  Then the meeting ended.  No motions.  No votes.

    Then the speaker said that every time he heard some commentator like Tom Brokaw use "Kumbaya" as a signifier for something naive and frivolous, he wanted to strangle him, despite the speaker's long history of non-violent practice.

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