SNCC 1960-1966: Six years of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

FeminismMany people feel that SNCC opened the door for the feminist movement, as it first established many of the principles later use by feminists. SNCC sought to change society by creating alternative institutions, instead of altering the existing ones. It rallied the oppressed by glorifying their qualities, and it viewed prejudice, in the form of racism or sexism, as a core social problem.

However, SNCC provided more than a model for the feminist movement. In 1964, the organization published a position paper that described the situation that women faced within SNCC itself, demonstrating an awareness of the problem before it was fashionable. The paper listed numerous situations where female members were placed in positions below their skill level, while less qualified males were placed above them. The paper compared the male oppression of women to the white oppression of blacks.

Despite this paper, or perhaps because of it, women did hold prominent positions in SNCC--providing further examples for the feminist movement. Many of the leaders of the local SNCC projects were women, and in the 1965 election, all of the black Freedom Democratic Party Congressional candidates from Mississippi were women.