Sam Mahone

SNCC, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, 1962-66
690 Timbergrove Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30331
Phone: 404.781.5459

Remembering John Perdew

I became involved in the movement as a junior in high school in Americus, Georgia. Needless to say, it changed my life forever. Initially, my work in SNCC centered on voter registration and public accomodation. Later on I worked among displaced tenant farmers in Mississippi and eventually became an activist in the anti-war (Viet Nam) movement.

I joined SNCC as a high school student. I worked primarily in voter registration, public accomodation and direct action. Helped to set up freedom schools/literacy classes in Americus and Albany georgia, during which time I was jailed several times. The longest sentence being three months in the city prison.

Later, I moved to Jackson Miss. to attend Tougaloo College under SNCCs' educational assistance program. While on campus, I became part of the anti-Viet Nam war movement. I continued to work as an activist in the Mississippi Delta with impoverished Black sharecroppers. I now reside in Atlanta, Georgia working independently as an art consultant and I also work full time at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Thank you for this opportunity to keep in touch with all the strong brothers and sisters who gave so much to the struggle.

Prior to SNCC coming into Americus, I was a High School volunteer canvassing neighborhoods with a local organization called the Sumter County Voters League, led by entrepreneur, Sam Weston, a tailor by trade and a civic leader. When SNCC workers arrived in 1962, I began working with them in voter registration and direct action to desegregate local places of public accommodation. Nine months later, following several arrests, I became a SNCC field worker in Americus and through Southwest Georgia with the Southwest Georgia Project, coordinated by Charles Sherrod.

I now serve as chairman of the Americus-Sumter County Movement Remembered Committee Inc. Founded in 2007 by veterans of the Americus Movement. Our mission has been to collect, preserve and archive all documentation of the Americus-Sumter County Civil Rights Movement which we hope to house in a facility to be called The Americus Civil Rights and Interpretive Center.

Copyright ©
(Labor donated)