Lyn Wells

SNCC, SSOC 1964-1968 Washington DC, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia

I began to organize junior and senior high school students to support the efforts of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committeee when I was in the 9th grade in Maryland. We organized to give our lunch money for a week to the Freedom Schools, organized a rally in support of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's challenge at the Atlantic City Democratic Party Convenction, held a nation-wide high school conference with delegations from Americus, Georgia, Selma, Alabama and Greenwood, Mississippi as well as Maryland, Virginia and New York city. This was at the time of the Congressgional Delegation challenge.

I attended two SNCC staff meetings, one at Gammon Thelological Seminary in Atlanta and one in Tennessee. I believe it was the last SNCC staff meeting where white folks attended. In all these activities, I was very young and very honored to meet many people who had dedicated their lives to freedom.

In 1966, I helped to put on a Conference in Washington which discussed how to organize in the white community. This focused on both organizing support for civil rights and how to organize poor and working class white people in coalition with the Black freedom struggle.

I left for Greensboro, NC when I was 18 to participate in a labor struggle of the Cone Mills workers, cotton mill people. My great- grandmother, Rosie Marsh Wells, had gone to work in the Battersy cotton factory in Petersburg, Va. after her father was killed in the seige of that city by US Troops during the War Between the States. My father had been a union organizer after WWII in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, so I followed their footsteps.

I joined that staff of the Southern Student Organizing Committee and worked against the Vietnam War.

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