After I finished my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin, I withdrew from student life to become an organizer first as a volunteer, then as a staff member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Mississippi. My life in Mississippi had an effect that is still with me, and has continued to ground my convictions in the fertile soil of lived experience.
I recall my time as an organizer living in, and protected by, the black neighborhoods of Columbus and Tupelo, Mississippi in the mid- 1960s. There I became black, because only black people could live there. No, that s not right. I became a person among people, because only people who accepted each other as people could live there.