As remembered by Cynthia Palmer and Sharlene
July 27, 2015
In For a Voice and the Vote: My Journey with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, author Lisa Anderson Todd gives an insider's account of her experience volunteering in Greenville, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer, when she participated in assembling the MFDP. Innovative and integrated, the party worked to provide education, candidates, and local and statewide organization for blacks who were denied the vote. For Todd, it was an exciting, dangerous, and life-changing experience. The summer culminated with the 1964 Atlantic City Democratic Convention, where the MFDP fought boldly for the opportunity to be included as the voting Mississippi delegation but, when they ultimately refused the Democrats' unacceptable terms, were criticized as politically naove, militant protestors.
This firsthand account attempts to set the record straight about the MFDP's challenge to the convention and to shed light on the efforts of this dedicated, loyal, and courageous delegation. Offering the first full account of the group's five days in Atlantic City, For a Voice and the Vote draws on oral histories, the author's personal interviews of individuals who supported the MFDP in 1964, and other primary sources.
Lisa Anderson Todd served as a federal administrative judge for over twenty-two years on the Board of Contract Appeals at NASA and on the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals at the Department of Defense. She was a long-time resident of Washington, DC.