Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement


Spies of MississippiWith a series of short vignettes, The Spies of Mississippi provides an accessible narrative for young adults covering details of the civil rights movement in Mississippi. This book is one of the few that use language and are marketed for Young Adults and provides narratives of some lesser-known civil rights activists such as James Meredith, Clyde Kennard, and Medgar Evers. This book also exposes the covert role that the government took in attempting to stop the civil rights movement.  However, the overwhelming glamorization of the “agents” with code-names like X,Y, and Zero in this book detracts from the grounded reality of the civil rights workers and the true purpose of the Sovereignty Commission.The lens of maintaining segregation, rather than white supremacy, overemphasizes “segregation” as the subject of resistance rather than greater systems of racism. While segregation was a method of maintaining white supremacy, it was not the ultimate goal of groups like the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission. By ignoring the white supremacist ideologies of the Commission, this book diminishes the hateful racism behind the Commission. [Review by Shelly Wen.]

Credit: By Rick Bowers. Published by National Geographic Press, 2010.

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