Susan Nichols Collection

Table of Contents

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Descriptive summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents Note

Arrangement

Restrictions

Controlled Access Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Series Descriptions and Container list

Mississippi Freedom Project undated, 1962-1964

Freedom Schools

Incidents

Council of Federated Organizations undated, 1963-1964

Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) undated, 1963-1964

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party undated, 1960-1985

Print Material undated, 1961-1985

Commeratative Events 1985-1989

Personal 1964-1965

Susan Nichols Collection


Finding aid prepared by Stephanie McEvoy

Some items from this collection have been digitized and are available through the Civil Rights Movement Archives

Descriptive summary

Repository: Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Department of Special Collections and Archives
Title: Susan Nichols Collection
Dates: 1960-1989
Extent: 3.0 Linear feet
Abstract: Susan Nichols was a volunteer in the Mississippi Freedom Project in 1964-1965. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, (B.A. in Psychology, 1983) and Boston University (Masters in Social Work, 1984). She worked for civil rights and social justice organizations, such as the Freedom Democratic Party, Caesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, Let Cuba Live, Cuba Solidarity and Pastors for Peace. The collection contains incident reports and affidavits on violence, memos, institutional documents, pamphlets, handbooks, booklets, published articles, newspapers, newsletters from COFO, SNCC, the Freedom Democratic Party, Freedom Schools and personal correspondence.
Identification: CR.2014.004
Languages: English

Biographical Note

Susan Nichols became involved with an active Friends of SNCC group as a student of Southern Illinois University. At Southern Illinois University Nichols roomed with Minnie Jean Brown, a member of the Little Rock Nine. The Little Rock Nine were nine African-American students involved in the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, which sparked a nationwide crisis in 1957. Nichols was motivated to be active in the Civil Rights Movement by the values instilled by her father, and her affiliations with Chuck Neblett, an original member of the Freedom Singers, Dick Gregory, social activist and comedian, John O’Neal, co-founder of the Free Southern Theater group, Stokley Carmichael, SNCC leader and Black Panther member, along with many others.

She participated in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project in Holmes County, Mississippi in the summer of 1964, where she worked at community centers. In the fall of 1964, she relocated to Greenwood, Mississippi in a much-needed clerical support role. In January 1965, Nichols moved on to Jackson, Mississippi to work with the Freedom Democratic Party. She then worked with Caesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers movement in 1966. Following that she worked for a CORE-affiliated organization from 1967-1969, fighting for national welfare rights in Newark, NJ.

Nichols later received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine in 1983 and then a Masters in Social Work from Boston University in 1984. She went on to work in the mental health field and remained active in social justice groups. She relocated to Maine in 2000 where she became involved with Cuba Solidarity, a group which organizes unique study tours, events and solidarity brigades in Cuba. She has also been involved with local organizations advocating for an influx of Somali immigrants. Additionally she has been involved with Let Cuba Live, an organization that promotes respect for Cuba's sovereignty and independence, and Pastors for Peace, a special ministry of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization that facilitates the delivery of humanitarian aid to Latin America and the Caribbean.

As of 2014, Nichols was retired, living in Montana with her husband, and still active in Cuba Solidarity.

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Scope and Contents Note

The Susan Nichols Collection documents events during her time as a volunteer in the Mississippi Freedom Project. The majority of the material is dated from July-August 1964. There are incident logs documenting acts of violence against volunteers and residents, including detailed reports on the disappearance of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. The collection includes documents from the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. There are memos, teaching materials, and student work from Freedom Schools. Also present are newspaper articles and clippings from various publications and personal correspondence between Susan Nichols and her mother.

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Arrangement

Series I: Mississippi Freedom Project
Subseries A. Freedom Schools
Subseries B. Incidents
Series II: Council of Federated Organizations (COFO)
Series III: Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
Series IV: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Series V: Print Materials
Series VI: Commemorative Events
Series VII: Personal

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Restrictions

Access

Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.

Copyright

The Susan Nichols Collection is physically owned by the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.

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Controlled Access Terms

Chaney, James Earl, 1943-1964
Civil Rights Movement-Mississippi-20th century
Council of Federated Organizations (U.S.)
Goodman, Andrew, 1939-1964
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Mississippi Freedom Project
Mississippi Freedom School
Nichols, Susan
Schwerner, Michael Henry, 1939-1964
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

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Related Material

Stan Shaw Collection, Queens College Robert Masters Collection, Queens College Mark Levy Collection, Queens College George Albertz Papers, Queens College

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Item, date (if known), box, folder, Susan Nichols Collection, Department of Special Collections and Archives, Queens College, City University of New York.

Source

Donated by Susan Nichols in 2014.

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Series Descriptions and Container list

Series I: Mississippi Freedom Project ( undated, 1962-1964 )
This series consist of memos, student work and teaching material from Mississippi Freedom Schools. There are running logs of incidents of violence in Mississippi, formal incident reports and affidavits and reports specific to the disappearance of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.
Subseries A: Freedom Schools
Memos and Organizational Documents Box-folder 1-1
Student Work Box-folder 1-2
Teaching Material Box-folder 1-3
Subseries B: Incidents
Affidavits Box-folder 1-4
Incident Logs and Reports on Violence Box-folder 1-5
Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman Disappearance Reports Box-folder 1-6
Series II: Council of Federated Organizations ( undated, 1963-1964 )
This series contains memos, booklets, handbooks, special reports and pamphlets produced by the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO)
Memos, Booklets and Handbooks Box-folder 1-7
Mississippi Delta Reports Box-folder 1-8
Pamphlets Box-folder 1-9
"Special Reports" Box-folder 1-10
Series III: Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) ( undated, 1963-1964 )
This series consists of correspondence, flyers, pamphlets, letters, memos, newsletters, press releases, reports, and the Student Voice newsletter, generated by the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Flyers and Pamphlets Box-folder 1-11
Letters and Memos Box-folder 1-12
Negros in America-A Freedom Primer Box-folder 1-13
Newsletters and Press Releases Box-folder 1-14
The General Condition of the Mississippi Negro Box-folder 1-15
The Student Voice Box-folder 1-16
Series IV: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party ( undated, 1960-1985 )
This series consists of booklets, documents, and information on voting regulations and statistics.
Booklets Box-folder 2-1
Documents Box-folder 2-2
Voting Information Box-folder 2-3
Series V: Print Material ( undated, 1961-1985 )
This series contains flyers, pamphlets, government and legal documents, magazine and journal articles, and unpublished poetry and essays relating to the socio-economic conditions in Mississippi during this period. Large format magazine and journal articles, newspapers and clippings, a poster and copies of the Southern Patriot a monthly newspaper are housed in a large box.
Flyers and Pamphlets Box-folder 2-4
Government Documents Box-folder 2-5
Legal Documents Box-folder 2-6
Magazines and Journals Box-folder 2-7
Unpublished Writing Box-folder 2-8
Magazine and Journals: Large Format Box-folder 3-1
Newspapers and Clippings Box-folder 3-2
Poster Box-folder 3-3
Southern Patriot Box-folder 3-4
Series VI: Commeratative Events ( 1985-1989 )
This series contains pamphlets and event schedules for events held to commemorate the Civil Rights Movement.
Commemorative Events Box-folder 2-9
Series VII: Personal ( 1964-1965 )
This series consists primarily of handwritten and type written letters to the donor’s mother during the time that she was working as a volunteer in Mississippi.
Letters Box-folder 2-10