Document 21: Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) paystub, February-March 1965, Elaine DeLott Baker Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

Introduction

   After completing the first summer session at Tougaloo, I spent the last month of the summer working as a waitress in the Catskills to earn the money I needed to return to the South in the fall. I had absolutely no intention of returning to Harvard for my senior year. Jesse Morris, the Jackson office administrator who first recruited me to work on the survey for Freedom Summer, invited me to join the "federal programs project," a continuation of efforts begun in the summer to tap into federal regulations that could support local organizing efforts. The expectation was that I would join SNCC staff. When I returned in the fall there was an informal hiatus on adding whites to SNCC staff, whose ranks had been uncomfortably swollen by the addition of white volunteers. Instead, I was put on CORE staff. Freedom Summer and the Mississippi movement generally were a joint operation of SNCC, CORE, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Council of Churches (NCC), under the umbrella of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). SNCC field secretary Bob Moses and CORE field secretary Dave Dennis were the co-directors of COFO in Jackson. In terms of work and status, there was virtually no distinction between SNCC and CORE field staff. Some counties were staffed by CORE, while others were staffed by SNCC, but all efforts were coordinated by COFO. In later years the agendas and tactics of the two organizations would separate, but in the fall of 1964, COFO was the Mississippi freedom movement. The standard pay for CORE staff was $30.00 every two weeks, which translated into a weekly stipend of $14.20. We lived, for the most part, on the generosity of the local families who housed us. In retrospect, I have no idea how we survived. The pay stubs that I still have in my possession were from February through April 1965, although I went on the payroll in the fall of 1964.

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