Martin Gittelman

MCHR, 1963-65, Mississippi
Current Residence: New York City (Manhattan)

MCHR was formed to assist the work of civil rights workers in the South for voter registration. Our work involved strengthening the Civil Rights movement in Greenwood. We accompanied folks who registered. We also entered in small interracial groups for shopping, to restaurants and once to a Bar.

I witnessed the violence aimed at those who registered to vote and those who promoted voter registration. I worked closely with Stokely Carmichael in Greenwood in 1964 and saw him and others for many years. In Greenwood I witnessed the terrible conditions under which the Black community was forced to live.

Sidney Poitier and Harry Bellafonte joined us and we picked them up at the airport and drove them to join us in Greenwood.

Following Freedom Summer we continue to work for civil and human rights for people with physical and mental disabilities.

Mississippi was a learning experience for me. I learned how Black Mississippians dealt with trauma. Later I wrote articles about Cognitive Behavioural Treatment. Joe Wolpe, a south African psychiatrist whose brother was a member of the African National Congress wrote about methods of dealing with trauma.

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