Jesse Morris

A Celebration of Life for SNCC Veteran Jesse Morris
SNCC Legacy Project (SLP)


As remembered by Courtland Cox
March 19, 2021

All, I have been informed that Jesse Morris passed this morning. I do not have much more; however, I am trying to reach out to his son Earl to get as much information as possible.


As remembered by Dorothy Zellner
March 19, 2021

Oh, this is sad news! I worked with him in Oxford prior to going to Mississippi and he was unforgettable. Thanks for any information you can obtain.


As remembered by Zoharah Simmons
March 19, 2021

Dear CRM Vets, OMG! We have lost another of our stalwart soldiers. I have such wonderful and fond memories of Jesse working around the clock in the COFO office. I so admired his dedication and his commitment to our work!

Thank you Courtland!

Jesse Morris, ¡PRESENTE!


As remembered by Maria Varela
March 19, 2021

My heart sank when I heard this. So I could transition out of Mississippi to New Mexico, Jesse took on distributing the books and filmstrips I helped make during my tenure with SNCC. He walked the talk and furthered the work of many of us to build alternative institutions in places we moved on to.


As remembered by Sharlene Kranz
March 19, 2021

Jesse Turner Morris was born February 8, 1941, in Wilmington, Delaware. He received his early education in Delaware, but after moving to California, he completed his education there, finally receiving a degree in 1960 from the University of California in economics.


As remembered by Joyce Ladner
March 19, 2021

Our numbers are dwindling.

I am very sorry to hear of Jesse's passing. I remember when he arrived in Mississippi. I was impressed when he said he'd studied agricultural economics. My regret is that during the countless times I returned to Mississippi I never saw him. I saw his daughter at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and I asked her to give him my regards.


As remembered by Marilyn Loewen
March 20, 2021

Thank you all very much for making sure we know of Jesse's passing.

His devotion to the Poor People's Co-ops brought life to the dream of a more just society where people could reap the harvests they had sown.

May his legacy be remembered and taught to new generations.

The struggle continues.


As remembered by Maria Varela
April 6, 2021

About Jesse Morris from Maria Varela

Somehow in 1968, Jesse was in touch with Hank Adams, a native American activist who was helping tribal leaders of the Nisqually, Puyallup, and Muckleshoot Nations, (located in the Puget Sound region of Washington State), to protect their treaty protected fishing rights in usual and accustomed fishing sites outside reservation borders. Hank asked Jesse if SNCC could send a photographer to help in the struggle as their actions were ignored by the press. Jesse called me and asked me to go. I couldn't. I asked him if my sister (Dolores Varela) could go and Jesse said would be fine. Dolores went and didn't get home for 10 months. As the Seattle Times put it:

... arrested with the others, including a non-Indian photographer in the camp Dolores Varela Phillips, who sewed her film inside the lining of her purse to protect it from confiscation. "I was just shooting and shooting [photos]. I don't even remember doing it, I was so frightened," said Varela Phillips, ... (her) photographs would become one of the iconic images of the conflict.

Conditions of her bail forbade travel outside the state of Washington. Dolores' iconic photo of leader Allison Bridges now hangs in the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. All thanks to Jesse Morris. I don't think we will ever know the extent of Jesse's national network.

[Dolores Alison Bridges Arrest]


As remembered by Zoharah Simmons
April 6, 2021


Thank you for this Remembrance of Jesse Morris!

I have such fond memories of Jesse in the COFO office taking care of at least 10 things at once! What an administrator! He could be stern and direct! He did not have time for any foolishness! I counted on him to be the Captain of the Ship and he was! Jesse had a heart of Gold!

Gone but never forgotten!

Jesse Morris, ¡PRESENTE!

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