What I learned from SNCC was: everything. I learned that Black leadership coming from deep in the Black community was a gift to the whole country. I learned that there is a Mrs. Hamer maybe down the street, if you look for her. I learned that young people have immense power, if they only knew they had it. In fact, any group of citizens with a clear objective and a strong bond between them can accomplish almost anything. I learned that the people with the most advanced degrees often are the people who know less than those who didn't go past the third grade.
In other words, SNCC turned the most deeply-held ideas upside down and held out an example of courage and creativity that today, 60 years later, causes cheers to erupt when its name is mentioned publicly. Personally I consider myself incredibly lucky to have associated with the smartest, most courageous and funniest people who ever operated in this country.
Copyright © Dorothy Zellner
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