Black women's civil rights activism in Mississippi: The story of Womanpower Unlimited

Tiyi Makeda Morris, Purdue University


Womanpower Unlimited was founded on May 29, 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi by Mrs. Clarie Collins Harvey. Organized initially to provide aid to the Freedom Riders, who were unjustly arrested and tortured in the Mississippi jails, Womanpower Unlimited expanded its activism to include programs such as voter registration drives, youth education, and participation in Women Strike for Peace. Womanpower Unlimited proved to be not only a significant organization with regard to civil rights activism in Mississippi, but also a spearhead movement for revitalizing Black women's social and political activism in the state. This dissertation investigates the origins, goals, and activities of Womanpower Unlimited in hopes of portraying the centrality of both women's and local people's activism in the Civil Rights Movement. Within a womanist framework, this research examines how these women fit into the legacy of Black women's activism and how they implemented the age-old ideas of race uplift within the context of the Civil Rights Movement. It also explores the role Womanpower Unlimited played in the Mississippi Movement and their efficacy in the Black community.




Williams, Purdue University.

Subject Area

American studies|Black history|American history|Womens studies

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