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Jinny Glass Mississippi Diary August 7, 1964 Today was certainly an emotionally packed day. Jo woke me at 5:15 a.m. for today was the day I was going to Mississippi. But I had a lump in my throat because indeed I was sad to leave Jo, Dan, and little Pye [Pyewacket, our Siamese cat] and somewhat frightened to dive into the unknown of Miss. What was in store for me? What would the conditions be? What would I be able to contribute? Is this really right? (Certainly it's morally wrong if you listen to a southerner.) Anyway, we made the trip to Boston and with a lump in my throat I boarded the plane and began my way south. I had three seat partners: one from Mississippi who had lived in the north for quite a while and thought the program "interesting", one from Atlanta to whom I didn't dare mention the project for fear he'd have the Klan after me! And one from Jackson with whom I had a very nice conversation, but who expressed a typical southern feeling of "resentment toward these southern invaders". He also said that I probably wouldn't work on the project if I visited whites for a couple of weeks in the south. After listening to him I indeed began to question my "right" to come to Mississippi and I can certainly understand the resentment of the Mississippians. He was a very charming southern gentleman with beautiful blue eyes. Too bad he had a ring on that fatal third finger! Anyway, it was quite an experience to encounter these attitudes first hand. Pretty different from just reading about them! I arrived in the Jackson airport around 2:00, and as my instructions read, phoned the COFO office. They said to take the limousine to town and then a colored cab driver to 1017 Lynch. Everything went smoothly. Jackson was deceptively calm! The cab driver took my bags into the COFO office. I paid him 70 cents and entered. What utter confusion! The walls are lined with makeshift plywood desks -- completely messy -- with "Do not touch anything on this desk" signs. There are about six telephones, ringing, ringing. There's a H2O cooler with two community glasses, and there are tons of people wandering around. Black and white. Some just milling, others being very busy. "And this confusion might be implementary in saving my life?" I queried - "What in the world am I doing here?" I wondered who was in charge here. Where do I go? I felt so alone, so unsure. I felt the lump welling up in my throat. I wanted to go back to Jo and Dan, back to Mom and Dad and to the southern plan #2. I was tired and hungry. Well, anyway, I finally found the gal I was looking for. She gave me a file card and typewriter to write up some information and then told me to "make myself at home" and at about 4:00 we'd go out to [Tougaloo] College for orientation. Other workers arrived slowly through the course of the afternoon and as we got to talking, I began to feel better knowing that they were having the same feeling as I. Finally we shoved off for [Tougaloo] around 5:00. Elaine Weinberger drove. She's head of our orientation - a rather tall, skinny, very serene faced, calm, soft-spoken, unimpassioned girl. She and her husband have been working in Miss. for about 1 1/2 years. I wonder about some of the experiences she's been through. What sort of ugliness has she seen that must be fixed indelibly in her mind?
|Contributing institution||Special Collections, McCain Library and Archives, University of Southern Mississippi.|
|Digital repository||University of Southern Mississippi Digital Collections.|
|Digital collection||Historical Manuscripts and Photographs.|
|File size||667494 Bytes|
|File name||mus-jg001.01_Page 1.jpg|