Jane Adams

COFO, 1964-65, Mississippi
Current Residence:
606 W. Elm St.
Carbondale, IL 62901
Email: jadams.cdale@gmail.com
Web Site: Whites in the Land of the Blues

I went to Mississippi with Freedom Summer and was assigned to Harmony Community in Leake County, working on Federal Programs. Dovie Hudson and her family were my host. I was asked to go to the COFO office in Jackson at the end of the summer to work on Federal Programs, and worked there until January, 1965. I then worked in the southwest, first in McComb and then in Amite County, with Louis Steptoe.

The worked changed my life. It was far more important to me than anything I — a naive youngster — contributed. As Bernice Reagon said, "I was reborn in the Civil Rights Movement." I learned, more than anything, that people make history. I saw heroism that I could never have imagined, and a sense of hope that infused people who had lived all their lives with the degradation of white supremacy. I also saw what is probably the most important kind of leadership — that at the level of communities, where people have to confront and deal with the people who make their day-to-day lives possible.

Of those who have passed on: I especially recall Dovie and Winson Hudson, Louis Steptoe, and Alyene Quin. I was fortunate to be able to interview Alyene Quin before she passed on. They are true heroes.

When I returned to Harmony during the Freedom Summer Reunion a few years back, Winson Hudson told me that most of the houses in the community were built with support from the Farmers Home Administration. It was gratifying to know that a COFO's Federal Programs project on had made a difference.

I've also just been elected to Carbondale City Council and have a related website: Jane Adams Carbondale City Council.

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