Clarie Collins Harvey

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Clarie Collins Harvey

Date: 
Feb. 9 [1964]
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Clarie Collins Harvey
Clarie Collins Harvey Bio

Clarie Collins Harvey (1916-1995) was a civil rights activist. A native of Louisa, Mississippi, Harvey attended college at both Baldwin College and Spelman College, graduating from the latter in 1937. She later earned graduate degrees from Indiana College and Columbia University. Harvey served as president of her family's two businesses, the Collins Funeral Homes and the Collins Insurance Company, both in Jackson. In 1961 Harvey founded Womanpower Unlimited, an organization in Jackson that provided necessary personal supplies to the Freedom Riders arrested and incarcerated at Parchman Penitentiary. The members of Womanpower Unlimited also organized a network of safe houses in which civil rights workers could stay, and they collaborated with other civil rights organizations to register black voters. Harvey also organized the Chain of Friendship, a network of white women outside Mississippi interested in supporting female integration workers inside the state.

Abstract

Harvey discusses her educational and family background and describes the influences that led her to civil rights work. She considers the influence of religion on the civil rights movement and non-violence as a tactic of civil rights agitation. Harvey also discusses African Americans' opinions of Martin Luther King, Jr., and she suggests that the slow pace of civil rights change may lead to violence. Harvey discusses the imprisonment of Freedom Riders in Mississippi in 1961 and describes how she organized local women to help provide for their physical needs during their imprisonment. Harvey claims that there is no single way to solve the racial problems of the South, and she considers whether it might be necessary to improve economic conditions in the South as one step toward solving the South's racial strife. She also discusses the extent to which the South's racial problems are an international problem. Harvey considers whether African Americans and southerners have split consciousnesses, and she discusses the extent to which prejudice is an inherent part of southern traditions. Considering the slogan, "Freedom Now," Harvey contends that it is a call for positive action and not a denial that change requires time. Harvey discusses African Americans' low rate of financial support for the civil rights movement and she considers class differences among African Americans. Harvey explains that African Americans have stereotypes of white people, and she also describes her efforts to promote interracial communication in Jackson. Harvey discusses Reconstruction and sectional differences in race relations, and she opines that the South will lead the way in ending racial strife in the United States.

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