Sally Belfrage Papers, 1962-1966


Sally Belfrage, author and former civil rights worker, was born in Hollywood, California in 1936. Her parents, Cedric and Mary Belfrage, were British writers; Cedric wrote for the National Guardian. Belfrage lived in England and Moscow, and in 1959 wrote A Room in Moscow, which was well received by the critics. In 1964 she joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and participated in the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project; she was librarian at the Greenwood, Mississippi SNCC headquarters. Her book, Freedom Summer, published in 1965, details the project and her participation in it. Belfrage presently lives in New York City.

The Mississippi Summer Projects were designed by SNCC and COFO (Council of Federated Organizations) to improve the depressed conditions of Mississippi blacks through political channels. The projects were divided into four areas of concentration: voter registration, six week freedom schools, the operation of community center programs, and research in Mississippi law. Training periods for the six hundred participants were held at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio. For further information, see Mary R. Aickin's 1968 University of Washington M.A. thesis, “Black and White Together: Northern Volunteers and the Southern Freedom Summers” (SC 632).