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

Hear Bob Moses describe the Greenwood Voter Registration ProjectRobert Moses was born in 1935 in Harlem. He had two brothers and his family was poor. Because Moses had strong academic skills he was able to attend a competitive private high school. He then attended Hamilton College and went on to earn a master's degree in philosophy from Harvard. During his studies, Moses traveled abroad and was exposed to the ideals of pacifism. He also became acquainted with the works of the French philosopher Camus, whose ideas were an important influence on the young Moses. Moses returned home when his family suffered a crisis. In 1959, his mother died.

Shortly after his mother's death, the first sit-ins took place. Moses read about them in the newspapers. In the spring of 1960, Moses was visiting his uncle in Hampton, Virginia. He witnessed a sit-in in progress in Newport News and slipped into the middle of it. This was a pivotal event for Moses.

When he returned to New York, he decided that would go south that summer. That summer Moses moved to Atlanta and began working with SNCC. Moses made a trip to Mississippi to gather people to come to Atlanta in October for a SNCC conference.

In Mississippi, Moses met Amzie Moore, a local NAACP chairman. Together they planned a campaign to begin registering African-Americans in Mississippi to vote. Not only was this a large endeavor, in Mississippi it was a very dangerous one. Moses spent four years in Mississippi working on voter registration.

Today Moses is involved in education reform.

Hear Bob Moses describe the Greenwood Voter Registration Project