Marie Michael Library
Spies of Mississippi
In the spring of 1964, the civil rights community geared up for "Mississippi Freedom Summer" during which mostly white student activists linked up with mostly black freedom workers to register black people to vote. The state responded by swearing in new deputies, stockpiling riot gear, and expanding the jails. In response, the most powerful men in the state created a secret, state-funded spy agency, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission. During the height of the civil rights movement, sovereignty commission operatives employed black operatives who infiltrated the movement. By gaining the trust of civil rights crusaders, they gathered intelligence on behalf of the segregationist state.