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The Vote

“Blocks for Freedom”

Sewing for Voting in Post-Jim Crow Mississippi

by William Sturkey

“‘Blocks for Freedom’ helped dozens of poor Black Mississippi women fight for the right to vote—not with marches and sit-ins but through making clothes, selling lunches, and hosting concerts.”

In 1966, two women from drastically different backgrounds launched an innovative campaign to protect African American women’s voting rights in Mississippi. Oberia Holliday was a thirty-four-year-old Black Mississippian born to a family of poor farm laborers during the Great Depression. Jacqueline De Sieyes Bernard, a forty-five-year-old French native living in Manhattan’s Upper Westside, was the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur and diplomat and an alumna of Vassar College and the University of Chicago.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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