J (therealjae) wrote in little_details,

U.S. civil rights movement questions

I'm writing a story set in the mid-to-late 1960s (beginning in 1966) in which several of the characters are involved in the U.S. civil rights movement (with most of them it's specifically the SCLC, although one of them flirted with a more militant group first). I've got a huge stack of books that I'm working my way through, and I think I can take care of most of the "little details" on my own, but I'm finding myself in need of someone I can talk with about some of the bigger things, such as what things felt like or how people in that environment might have reacted to x, y, or z.

The first big question that's come up for me is about how SCLC members in particular would have reacted to a white woman who showed up and wanted to get involved. I'm aware that the SCLC specifically chose a name that didn't include the word 'Negro' because they were hoping the movement would attract white allies as well, so in theory this would have been fine, but how common was it (i.e. would this supporting character have been the only white person in the room, or would there have been a clear white minority)? I also have trouble imagining that there wouldn't have been any suspicion toward someone like that or concern that people like that would want to take over, and I'd love to talk with someone more about the atmosphere surrounding those kinds of issues.

There are three different kinds of people I'd love to hear from: one, anyone who was actually there at the time, two, anyone who's got a lot of book-knowledge about the movement, or three, anyone who thinks they could extrapolate from their own more recent experiences. If you'd be willing to have a conversation (first here, of course, but if needed in email, Skype, AIM, your choice) with me about this and any other issues that come up, that would be terrific.

Thanks in advance to anyone who's willing to chime in.
Tags: 1960-1969, usa: history (misc), ~racial prejudice (misc)

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