Spring of 1964 and the civil rights community is gearing up for a major operation nicknamed Mississippi Freedom Summer. Hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly-white student activists from the North are preparing to link up with dozens of mostly-black freedom workers to accomplish what the Mississippi power structure fears the most: registering black people to vote. For the segregationists, Freedom Summer is nothing less than a declaration of war on the Mississippi way of life. The state responds by fortifying its Highway Patrol and sheriff offices with hundreds of newly sworn-in deputies, stockpiling tear gas and riot gear and preparing prison wardens and county jailers to expect an influx of summer guests. But the most powerful men in the state have another even more powerful weapon in their arsenal. The state of Mississippi has entered the spy business. A no-nonsense group called the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission has quietly created a secret, state-funded spy agency answering directly to the Governor. They infiltrated the civil rights coalition, eavesdropping on its most private meetings, and pilfering its most sensitive documents. The spies’ method of obtaining such sensitive information can be traced to an even more explosive secret. The Commission’s most potent weapon is a cadre of black operatives who have infiltrated the movement, rooting out its future plans, identifying its leaders and tripping up its foot soldiers. Along with a cadre of confederates, the black operatives are gaining the trust of civil rights crusaders to gain intelligence for the segregationist state.
Civil Rights & Social Justice|History & Biography