Bruce Palmer

SNCC, 1964-65, Georgia, Mississippi
Current Residence: Houston

I came as part of the Freedom Summer project. I had just graduated from college and went to the Atlanta office on Raymond st because I felt that I could best offer my research skills. I worked in the research section of the Atlanta office with Jack Minnis, James Bond, Ed Nakawatase, Walter Tillow, Rick Manning, Jerry Tecklin, & others.

Early in 1965 Jim Forman sent me to the COFO office in Jackson, Mississippi, to help with research there, both when it was on Lynch st and then on North Farish. I did some work on voting laws and election results at the Mississippi State Archives, went with Lawrence Guyot once to Hattisburg to explain how cooperatives worked, and worked on various projects with others in the COFO office.

I returned home (the Midwest) in the summer of 1965, after having been arrested in a demonstration in Jackson in July, I think, and held with a number of others for several days or more in the State Fairgrounds.

My contributions were minimal and certainly I gained more from my experience than I gave to SNCC. But what I learned I never forgot. I became an academic. My experience changed my life and had a huge impact on what I did and how I did it, including my writing, my work, and my politics. It led me to work for Welfare Rights in Rochester, NY (Rochester Action for Welfare Rights) in the early 1970s, where things I learned in SNCC proved more than useful. It informed the classes I taught in the prison system in Texas in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.


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