Robert Parris Moses: A Life in Civil Rights and Leadership at the Grassroots
In her new book, Robert Parris Moses. A Life in Civil Rights and Leadership at the Grassroots, Laura Visser-Maessen (Cultural History) recasts influential civil rights leader Robert Parris Moses as an effective, hands-on organizer, safeguarding his ideals while leading from behind the scenes. By returning Moses to his rightful place among the foremost leaders of the movement, Visser-Maessen testifies to Moses’s revolutionary approach to grassroots leadership and the power of the individual in generating social change.
One of the most influential leaders in the civil rights movement, Robert Parris Moses was essential in making Mississippi a central battleground state in the fight for voting rights. As a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Moses presented himself as a mere facilitator of grassroots activism rather than a charismatic figure like Martin Luther King Jr. His self-effacing demeanor and his success, especially in steering the events that led to the volatile 1964 Freedom Summer and the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, paradoxically gave him a reputation of nearly heroic proportions. Examining the dilemmas of a leader who worked to cultivate local leadership, Visser-Maessen explores the intellectual underpinnings of Moses’s strategy, its achievements, and its struggles.
- Title: Robert Parris Moses. A Life in Civil Rights and Leadership at the Grassroots (2016)
- Author: Laura Visser-Maessen
- Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
- ISBN: 9781469627984