Bob Zellner

Mr. Bob Zellner

Born on April 5, 1939 and raised in south Alabama, Dr. John Robert (Bob) Zellner has worked as an organizer, author, and speaker. During the 1960s, Bob, along with his former wife Dorothy, was a white Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activist. By the late 1960s, conflicts surfaced in SNCC:  between college-educated staffers and those with little formal education; between outside activists and local people; there were disputes over administrative decisions, policy and strategy, gender inequities, and of course white involvement. In a decisive staff meeting in New Orleans May of 1967, in response to the request of Zellners to organize a SNCC project in a white working-class neighborhood of New Orleans, the new Central Committee resolved that "the remaining five Caucasians or people considered to be Caucasians" be fired. The Zellners moved on to begin Grass Roots Organizing Work, or GROW (sometimes referred to as "Get Rid of Wallace") that sought to build coalitions and alliances between poor blacks and whites. In this project, white organizers needed to work hand in hand with black activists and this meant forging solidarity deeper than coalitions or alliances.

Quotes from interviews with this actor are listed below. To see excerpts from interview transcripts, click on the associated Excerpts link below each quote.

"They would say, 'Yeah, I've been a Klansman all this time and now I've joined the Civil Rights Movement.'"

Find below primary and secondary resources located in the Project on Lived Theology's Civil Rights Archive associated with this Actor. Click on a title to see the full record.