Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Ph.D. Oral History Interview

Created by
Civil Rights History Project, American, founded 2009
Interview of
Simmons, Gwendolyn Zoharah Ph.D., American, born 1944
Interviewed by
Mosnier, Joseph Ph. D.
Subject of
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, American, 1960 - 1970s
Spelman College, American, founded 1881
Mississippi Freedom Schools, American, founded 1964
Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, American, founded 1964
American Friends Service Committee, American, founded 1917
Federal Bureau of Investigation, American, founded 1908
COINTELPRO, American, 1956 - 1971
September 14, 2011
Duration: 01:37:29
The oral history consists of five digital files: 2011.174.49.1a, 2011.174.49.1b, 2011.174.49.1c, 2011.174.49.1d, and 2011.174.49.1e.
Gwendolyn Simmons, Ph.D. recalls joining the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) while a student at Spelman College. She remembers directing SNCC's voter registration and Freedom School, called the Freedom Summer Project in Laurel, Mississippi. She discusses learning about Black Nationalism in New York, the decision in SNCC to expel white members, and her work with the American Friends Service Committee's Program on Government Surveillance and Citizens' Rights to interview members of organizations investigated by the FBI's Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO).
LOC ID: afc2010039_crhp0049
Place collected
Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted
Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi, United States, North and Central America
New York, United States, North and Central America
Collection title
Civil Rights History Project
Media Arts-Film and Video
Civil Rights Movement
Mississippi Freedom Summer
video recordings
oral histories
digital media - born digital
American South
Associations and institutions
Civil rights
HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)
Race relations
Social reform
U.S. History, 1961-1969
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in partnership with the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
© Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture and The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress