In the following pages, Robert Moses tells the history of the early civil rights movement in Mississippi, focusing on the individuals, alliances, and strategies that brought about fundamental change in the United States and ultimately made possible the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. Moses describes how the efforts of Justice Department officials working from the “top” of society combined with the day-to-day work of sharecroppers and organizers at the “bottom” to challenge Jim Crow. His story takes us from the front lines of the movement in Mississippi to his contemporary efforts to ensure that all children in this country receive a quality education. While working from the bottom of today’s movement for educational equality, he calls on Obama to provide the leadership needed at the top to ensure lasting change. In this “illuminated story” he infuses his narration (in sans serif ) with his own reflections and insights about the lessons this story offers.
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Robert P. Moses
was an organizer and field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was a driving force in organizing the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In 1991, with concerned parents, teachers, and activists, he founded the Algebra Project, which uses experiential approaches to help public school students enter a college preparatory math sequence.