50th-7 The Societal Response to SNCC. 80min.
Larry Rubin (SNCC Field Secretary)
John Doar (Former Head, Justice Department - Civil Rights Division)
Timothy Jenkins (SNCC Executive Committee Member)
Peniel Joseph (Professor, Tufts University)
Dorothy M. Zellner (SNCC Atlanta Headquarters)
This panel and audience discussion considers the complex response to SNCC by the general public and specific sections of society. The Kennedy Administration was deeply suspicious of SNCC but panelist John Doar, head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in the 1960s, says that despite political as well as legal constraints on what he and his attorneys could do, they had "enormous respect for SNCC" that helped fuel their efforts. SNCC's work inspired many students, and the organization found considerable support in groups like the National Student Association and the Students for a Democratic Society. Within this discussion, a larger question is also raised and considered: What should we do today? Panelist Dorothy Zellner suggests, "In January 1960 we didn't know that one month later everything was going to change. There is no reason on earth [SNCC] can't happen again."