Many civil rights activists felt that America was Mississippi writ large. Crespino follows the idea of Mississippi as a synecdoche into into the 1964 Democratic National Convention and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, while considering the political analyses of John Egerton, Merle Black, C. Vann Woodward, ,Bruce Schulman, and Barbara Fields. Did the "Mississippi Plan," re-packaged as Nixon's "Southern Strategy," become the American way?
"Mississippi as Metaphor State, Region, and Nation in Historical Imagination," a presentation by Joseph Crespino
Published on October 23, 2006
Mississippi emerged as an iconic space for the struggle over the meaning of democracy and equality in the South and in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. Examining three metaphors widely used in those years, Professor Joseph Crespino argues that, as "the South on steroids," Mississippi became as much a contentious, imagined space as a real location for addressing national problems of white racism. The Mississippi of metaphor continues to affect, and to limit, how the South and the nation pursue social reform and equality.