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Image: Original caption: Robert Moses, one of the leaders of the SNCC training students as part of the Mississippi Summer Project. The project aims to train students to register Black voters who had been denied the vote by discriminatory Jim Crow laws. 1964. Copyright: Steve Schapiro/Corbis.

Audio courtesy of the University of Kentucky.

 

Robert Moses

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Robert Moses
Robert Moses Bio

Robert Moses (1935– ) is an educator and civil rights activist. After earning a master’s degree in philosophy at Harvard, Moses moved to the South and served as field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, working to register black voters in Mississippi as director of SNCC’s Mississippi Project. In 1961 he was a Freedom Rider, and in 1964 was the main organizer of the Freedom Summer project with the Council of Federated Organizations. His calm leadership helped SNCC navigate the threats and violence encountered in this process, including the murder of three volunteers. When SNCC became less committed to nonviolence, Moses left the organization to teach math in Tanzania. He later founded the Algebra Project, an innovative math literacy program geared for disadvantaged youth. Moses eventually returned to Harvard to complete a doctorate in philosophy, and now holds the Frank Rhodes Professorship at Cornell University.

Image: Original caption: Robert Moses, one of the leaders of the SNCC training students as part of the Mississippi Summer Project. The project aims to train students to register Black voters who had been denied the vote by discriminatory Jim Crow laws. 1964. Copyright: Steve Schapiro/Corbis.

Abstract

 

Moses discusses his work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, particularly in relation to King’s philosophy of nonviolence and white resistance to black voter registration efforts. He describes his educational experiences, arguing that improving the education system improves economic conditions for both whites and blacks. The conversation also covers racialized identities, historical racism, and tactical considerations in the processes of attaining justice in society.

Transcript

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