In this document, civil rights activist Ed King discusses the terrifying rhetoric of "voluntary" female sterilization that the Mississippi State Senate considered during the mid-1960s. At first, the Senate had considered a kind of population exchange that would more evenly "balance" the African American population in various American states. Going further than population exchange, representatives presented the ideas of prison terms as punishment for parents who had children out of wedlock. As an alternative to prison terms, women would be "voluntarily sterilized." Enraged civil rights activists, led by Fannie Lou Hamer, viewed these lawmakers' proposals as a thinly veiled way to lower African American population numbers, and indeed, even genocide. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) responded by publishing a pamphlet entitled "Genocide in Mississippi" that criticized the bill and its intentions.
Document Description: eleven-page typewritten document; located in PLT Archive folder "Ed King - Private (sent to Charles)"; The date of this document is not noted.