I was a first year student at Spelman College. My work at the national office, under Emma Bell, was maintaining the mailing lists; culling bad addresses and making addressagraph plates for new ones.
I moved onto campus organizing for Julian Bond's Special Election Campaign Committee/SNCC-Atlanta Project. Julian Bond, then SNCC Communications Secretary, had been denied his seat for criticizing the US War on Vietnam. He was re-elected, won at the US Supreme Court, seated and served many years.
The Atlanta Project was SNCC's first attempt at southern urban organizing. The Project pressed the organization to address the US War on Vietnam (which it did before King and SCLC), the role of whites in the community and organization, and wrote the theoretical underpinnings for revival and advancement of modern "Black Power" in a series of position papers. The phrase, "Black Power," popularized by Kwame Ture (FKA Stokely Carmichael) had been recently uttered by US Representative Adam Clayton Powell, but appears Black literature way in advance of the '60's. The Atlanta Project's draft of its Position Papers were drafted after significant group study, discussion, and participation in a little known Black Power Conference which predated both Newark and Philadelphia. It is not clear who organized the conference but Dr. John Hendrick Clarke, Keith E. Baird, and James Campbell were the primary resource people. Denise Nichols, then of the Free Southern Theater was one of the weekend's performers.
I am the founder and director of the Afrikan-American Institute for Policy Studies and Planning, SC Coordinator for the Malcolm X. Grassroots Movement for Self-Determination, and an attorney in Greenville, SC. Our website is www.african-american-institute.com [link may no longer be active].
In addition, I serve on the national steering/executive committees of October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression & Criminalization of a Generation (Oct 22nd), NOT IN OUR NAME (NION), National Moratorium to Stop the War on Iraq, Amnesty International-USA Program to Abolish the Death Penalty, National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America Litigation Committee (NCOBRA), Critical Resistance South.
BY THE WAY, I would also like to sign on to the Michigan Affirmative Action amicus. While I marched against Bakke and am not real pleased w/ the uncommitted crop of lawyers since produced, I think the option is important.