Eugene Turitz

SNCC, COFO, 1965, Mississippi
Current Residence: Berkeley, CA

Some Thoughts (2016 election)
Evaluating the Southern Freedom Movement
A Life in the Movement, 2018

From 1963 - 1967 I worked with Friends of SNCC in Berkeley and San Francisco. Besides the important job of raising funds and other support for work going on in the south, we also had ties with much other important work going on in the Bay Area.

I spent the summer of 1965 working primarily in Batesville, Panola county, Mississippi. The work we did was involved with organizing around voting, freedom schools, a farmers' co-op, public facilities integration and so much more.

While I have not returned to the south so much of my life has been conditioned by the experience I had there. I gained a basic understanding of how to work closely with people fighting to achieve the most basic changes necessary for our lives to be able to go on.

Since that time I have earned my living as a mechanic and then a carpenter. I worked at the Center for Independant Living (CIL) in Berkeley modifying vehicles for people with disabilities to use; I was an organizer of and for tenants of the Berkeley Tenants Union; I was on the Housing Advisory Commission of the City of Berkeley.

Since the early 1970's I have been a part of two organizations that provide music and a marching band for demonstrations, picket lines and events in the Bay Area — BAPMA and the Musicians' Action Group.

I have a wonderful family which is also something that is connected to the experience that I had in the movement. Our ability to be together and do good, hard, political work is a result of much understanding that we got being connected to SNCC and the civil rights movement.


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