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Inside SNCC

Inside SNCC

…Or How the Organizers Organized

SNCC Poster, 1963, Photography by Danny Lyon, crmvet.org

After its founding in 1960, SNCC grew from a coordinating committee made up of campus affiliates to an organization of organizers with “field secretaries” working full-time for change in communities across the Deep South. SNCC’s work spanned everything from voter registration, adult education, and freedom schools to theater productions, cooperatives, and independent political parties.

SNCC’s national office in Atlanta was the organization’s administrative headquarters, operating a communications department, a research department, staff photographers, the Sojourner Motor Fleet, the Freedom Singers, and more. It was totally committed to supporting the field work. Meanwhile, northern Friends of SNCC and an office in New York raised both funds and national support.

SNCC’s administrative structure kept the organization running, but it was SNCC’s culture that sustained its young organizers. The SNCC Culture section features SNCC veterans explaining what it was like to be a part of SNCC and what kept them going.

In its struggle for human rights, SNCC forged relationships with other civil rights groups and support organizations across the United States. As well, from its very beginnings, SNCC drew parallels between its efforts in the Deep South and the goals of African liberation movements and connected with other anti-colonial struggles unfolding across the globe.