Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dixie's Dirty Secret

Today, I finished reading a very interesting and enlightening book. Entitled Dixie's Dirty Secret, the book was written by James Dickerson, a Hollandale, Mississippi native and long-time journalist, and published in 1998 by M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY and London, England.)

Dickerson's book, which took over 20 years to research and write, focuses on events that occurred in Mississippi between 1955 and 1996. Contained within the book's 249 pages are the results of the author's interviews with educators, journalists, former politicians, and others who had knowledge of activities surrounding the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war activities that occurred during the Vietnam war era.

Throughout the book, Dickerson reveals often disturbing details of covert investigative activities conducted by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a state funded entity organized by former Governor J. P. Coleman on May 2, 1956. Of interest is the fact that the Commission's files remained sealed and secret until they were released to the public a little over a decade ago.

Dickerson's book is a must-read for anyone who wants to know the inside story of Mississippi politics during this significant period in history and how the Sovereignty Commission's clandestine activities were so closely interwoven with U. S. politics in general.

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