The Birmingham bombing of '63 impelled me to join in the work of the Mississippi Summer Project of '64. In '66 I had the opportunity to return briefly to Holly Springs to witness change in that community. My hope is to return once more this coming fall. Materials that I gathered while in Holly Springs in '64 were taken into the permanent collection of the Smithsonian, through the efforts of Bernice Johnson Reagon. They include many of the dittoed, and mimeographed newsletters and bulletins from around the state, local newspapers, and personal diaries.
The Mississippi Summer Project was a significantly defining experience in my life. Work on human rights, environmental concerns, and peace issues clearly grew out of education received from COFO and SNCC leaders and participants. My motivations for trips to and support of Nicaragua and South Africa came directly from it as well.
My career has mostly been in public schools: teaching, community education coordinator, and environmental program coordinator for the City of Eugene.
I would love to hear from any others who had been involved in Holly Springs. --Copyright © Ruth Koenig, 2001