Gloria Xifaras Clark

SNCC, 1964-70, Mississippi
Current Residence:
436 Parker Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Email: gloriaxclark@aol.com

I went to Memphis TN for training with teachers from NYC sponsored by the teachers union in NY. I was then assigned to Holly Springs MS, 40 miles south of TN, where I taught in the Benton County Freedom Schools during Freedom Summer.

Ivanhoe Donaldson was the project director. Following the summer I stayed on to organize the MFDP, conduct Freedom Votes, teach literacy and Negro History, organize and maintain the Freedom House Library, and do whatever needed to be done. I worked in Benton, Tippah and Union Counties.

Cleveland Sellers was the project director.

The Holly Springs Freedom House was located in Marshall County where I lived. I left MS by January 1965, worked on behalf of Friends of SNCC in Cambridge and the Boston area. I began speaking tours in my community south of Boston and had activists from MS join me to speak in my city of New Bedford MA, the city where Frederick Douglass spent his first three years as a free man, a city with a strong abolitionist and Quaker history.

At the request of the youth I became advisor to a newly formed NAACP youth chapter and reamained in that position from 1965-1968. I remained active in many local civil rights, anti-Vietnam war and anti draft activities, including voter registration drives conducted with the youth. By 1972 I moved to England with my husband and young children, returning in 1975.

Since 1995 I have been conducting taped interviews of participants in the Holly Springs civil rights movement of the 1960's. 40 interviews exist at the library of Rust College in Holly Springs and at the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

September 18-22, 2003 marks the dates for the celebration and reunion of civil rights workers in Holly Springs at Rust College. More interviews are to be conducted at that time and place, as well as student participation and visits to area highschools.

The civil rights movement was a defining moment in 20th century history and I am fortunate to have been a part of it. I hope you feel the same way!


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