Democracy in Action: The 1963 Mississippi Freedom Vote

William Lawson, Assistant Professor of Department of Communication

The Mississippi Freedom Vote in 1963 consisted of an integrated citizens' campaign for civil rights. With candidates Aaron Henry, a black pharmacist from Clarksdale for governor, and Reverend Ed King, a college chaplain from Vicksburg for lieutenant governor, the Freedom Vote ran a platform aimed at obtaining votes, justice, jobs, and education for blacks in the Magnolia State.

The Mississippi Freedom Vote of 1963 is no small thing. It is a complex historical and rhetorical phenomenon worthy of in-depth analysis. The Freedom Vote campaign employed the rhetorical tactics of image events to protest voting rights inequalities by executing a campaign that allowed participants to enact the very agency that was being criticized.The campaign turned protesters into citizens, allowing local citizens to experience empowerment, and it allowed organizers to learn valuable lessons that they would employ time and time again.

Please contact William Lawson, if you have any questions about his presentation.

Presentation recorded on March 14, 2019 at California State University East Bay.

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