Spies of Mississippi: The true story of the spy network that tried to destroy the civil rights movement by Rick Bowers
With the inauguration of J.P. Coleman as governor of Mississippi in 1956, a bill was passed and signed creating the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission. Ostensibly set up to protect the state from interference by the federal government, its real mission was to preserve segregation. Funded by the state with taxpayer money, code named agents reported on individuals, groups, meetings and plans for integration. Devoted to maintaining segregation, the commission also ran a public relation campaign, extolling the positives and benefits of segregation. Seventeen chapters each cover one event from 1956-1964, including Freedom Riders, Medgar Evers’ murder, James Meredith’s integration of Ole Miss, Freedom Summer murder of 3 civil rights workers and other lesser known people and events.
This absorbing read brings fascinating people and events to life covering pivotal occurrences during the fight against segregation and for civil rights from 1956-1964. Any reader who does not fully understand and appreciate the freedom to ride public transportation across state lines, attend public schools and universities and register to vote regardless of race and background must read this account of people who risked their lives to make these changes a reality.
Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson