A Review of
We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement
Mississippi: Armed SNCC members abduct white night riders and release them after giving them a warning. A white cop gets knocked unconscious by a black man for slapping a 14-year-old black girl. Armed brothers do a citizens’ arrest when ambushed by the Klan and deliver one of the attackers to his father, the chief of police.
Before you start to romanticize about the good ole days, I should remind you that life in the South for black folks was dangerous and volatile. Any challenge to the traditions and system of white supremacy was met with raw violence. And Mississippi? Well, there’s a poignant reason why Nina Simone penned a song titled, “Mississippi Goddam.” People – mostly black – lost their lives in the freedom struggle as they fought to break down barriers to voting, employment, public accommodations and other aspects of life that were forbidden to African Americans because of racism. This is the backdrop for We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement by Dr. Akinyele Umoja. Read more