The Student Voice 1960-1965: Periodical of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

The Student Voice 1960-1965: Periodical of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

The Student Voice 1960-1965: Periodical of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

The Student Voice 1960-1965: Periodical of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Excerpt

The Student Voice, the newspaper of theStudent Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), began publication in June 1960. Its first issue contained reports of the initial meetings of SNCC, which was established by student activists at an April 15-17 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. At a meeting held May 13-14, 1960 on the campus of Atlanta University, student representatives voted to publish the newspaper as a means of disseminating news of black student lunch counter sit-ins and other protest activity. Published at SNCC's small headquarters in Atlanta (initially at 197 ½ Auburn Avenue and from December 1962 to June 1965 at 6 Raymond Street), the newspaper sought to provide the student movement with a "system of flash news to alert the nation of emergencies and serious developments." Student activists were urged to "send regular and prompt reports to the office of SNCC to afford dynamic communication." Emphasizing reports of protest activities rather than statements of political opinion, SNCC's newspaper was similar in format to the Southern Patriot, produced bySNCC advisors Carl and Anne Braden of the Southern Conference Educational Fund.

During its five years of existence, the Student Voice contained news of student sit-ins, marches, and, increasingly, reports on the activities of SNCC field secretaries who helped launch mass mobilizations of black communities, especially in the Black Belt areas of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Because of their willingness to work in the strongholds of southern segregation, SNCC workers gained a reputation as the most militant force in the civil fights movement. The newspaper staff commented in 1964 that press coverage of SNCC's activities was "rare and far between" and that their objective was "to present to northern supporters news which the press was not covering." The paper was distributed to northern SNCC supporters who provided essential financial support for the organization.

Throughout its history, SNCC struggled to obtained adequate funding for its ambitious activities. Lack of funds and limited staffing caused publication of the Student Voice to be irregular until 1962. The paper was produced by local printers in Atlanta until October 1963 when the Student Voice, Inc., became the printing arm of SNCC and printing equipment was purchased, using a $15,000 grant from the estate of an anonymous donor. After November 1963, the Student Voice became a weekly, although publication became increasingly irregular after the summer of 1964. By August 1964, SNCC's Communications Department under the direction of Julian Bond was mailing more than 40,000 copies of the newspaper to SNCC donors and supporters in the North, southern college campuses, and SNCC projects and affiliates throughout the South. In addition to publishing the newspaper, the Communications Department also produced posters, leaflets, and other materials. It formulated, but never carried out, plans to publish a series of community newspapers in many of the black communities where SNCC's staff of full-time community organizers were active. Longstanding plans to distribute a journal containing political and cultural analyses were finally realized in the mid-1960's, when Student Voice ceased publication and several other short-lived publications took its place. After changing its name to The Voice, the publication appeared for the last time in December 1965.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.