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Strategic SisterhoodThe National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Struggle$
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Rebecca Tuuri

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469638904

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469638904.001.0001

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Creating a Ministry of Presence

Creating a Ministry of Presence

Setting Up an Interracial Civil Rights Organization, 1963–1964

(p.37) Chapter Two Creating a Ministry of Presence
Strategic Sisterhood

Rebecca Tuuri

University of North Carolina Press

In the fall of 1963, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) took steps to become more directly involved in the civil rights movement when Dorothy Height travelled with a small interracial team of elite clubwomen to investigate the abuse of activist children imprisoned in Selma. The team moved behind the scenes and tried to establish ties with local black and white women to better support the movement. After the Selma trip, white team member Polly Cowan developed plans to bring additional teams of interracial middle and upper class women down to the South. At a March 1964 Atlanta meeting of black and white southern clubwomen, Clarie Collins Harvey, a black businesswoman and clubwoman from Jackson, Mississippi, invited Cowan and the NCNW to provide support to civil rights efforts in Jackson. Her invitation led Cowan and Height to develop plans for Wednesdays in Mississippi to help with Freedom Summer.

Keywords:   Selma, National Women's Committee on Civil Rights, Fellowship of the Concerned, Polly Cowan, Dorothy Height, Clarie Collins Harvey, Ministry of Presence, Wednesdays in Mississippi, National Council of Negro Women, NCNW

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