Help Tell the Story

What is your story? When did you first hear about NSM? What inspired you to join? What questions should we be asking to enrich our understanding of the history of the Movement?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Abstract: from ASALH conference, Raleigh, September 2010

Freedom North: The Northern Student Movement
The Northern Student Movement (NSM) emerged out of the wave of southern sit-ins during the early 1960s. It supported civil rights efforts in the South as well as developed programs to address northern racial injustice.  Early on, the NSM mobilized student support for the southern struggle. It raised money for the Southern Voter Registration Program of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as well as organized book donations to Southern colleges.  Peter Countryman, a Yale undergraduate, who had been the first executive director of the NSM, with headquarters originally in New Haven, Connecticut, stepped down in 1966. The NSM headquarters shifted from New Haven to New York City and William Strickland, a longtime activist replaced Countryman as executive director. With NSM veterans Bill Strickland as well as two other participants which represent the arc of the life of the NSM, Joan Countryman, the widow of Peter Countryman, and finally Frank Joyce, head of the Detroit chapter of NSM, which evolved into People Against Racism (PAR), one of the most significant white antiracist groups in the country.  The panel will talk about how NSM came into being as the Northern model for SNCC among other things and how some of its activities to work with SNCC, specifically its collaboration with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's (MFDP), when NSM arranged a meeting between Malcolm X and Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer when she came to Harlem. 

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