Amite County, Mississippi
Amite County, located in the hilly pine woods of Southwest Mississippi, was one of the state’s most violent and impoverished counties. In 1960, there was not a single registered Black voter despite the fact that Black people made up 55 percent of the population. SNCC came to the county in 1961 after establishing a voter registration drive in nearby McComb. Early SNCC activists worked with local leaders E.W. Steptoe and Herbert Lee to encourage people to register to vote. Lee’s murder brought the Movement to a temporary halt. SNCC returned to Amite in 1964 during the Freedom Summer campaign.