Delta Ministry Reports...Greenville Air Base: What Happened, and Why

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The author reports that the extreme poverty of African Americans in the Mississippi Delta, coupled with unfulfilled promises of help from the federal and state governments, led to the occupation of a building on decommissioned Greenville Air Force Base by poor African Americans and civil rights activists in 1966. The Delta Ministry played an influential role in urging the distribution of food and resources to African-American families, many of whom were displaced and jobless due to changing agricultural technologies, unsympathetic landowners and government officials. Various African-Americans from Mississippi commented on their grave financial difficulties for the article. The second half of the piece transcribed portions of a press conference held by the Delta Ministry. The participants included members of the group who had occupied the building, as well as a variety of civil rights activists. They discussed their great need and the unwillingness of the white establishment to recognize or alleviate it, and distinguished their action as being not merely civil rights activism, but as a necessary reaction to the impossible situation they were living in. The piece concluded with a a brief editorial from the New York Post that was highly critical of the military's response to the occupation. 

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Document Description: nine-page photocopy of document; located in PLT Archive folder "Delta Ministry (Div. of Nat'l Council of Churches) pro, anti-literature". 

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