Document 91A: Francis Mitchell, "I Remember Martin," Martin Luther King Day 1986, Walsenburg, Colorado, audio, Elaine DeLott Baker Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. 7 minutes.
Francis Hamlin Mitchell (Mitch) was the son of an Episcopal priest from South Carolina. He attended Boston University after World War II under the G.I. Bill, later working for Johnson Publications of Chicago, the publishers of Ebony and Jet magazines. Francis covered the Little Rock "troubles" and answered the call to come to Mississippi after meeting Bob Moses in Chicago, joining other talented SNCC photographers (see Document 81A). I got to know Francis when we rode back together from D.C. to Jackson after the Congressional Challenge (see Document 34). In the fall of 1964, during the six weeks that top SNCC leadership were in Africa, Mitch was one of two SNCC staff who were "left in charge" of the Mississippi operation. When I came north later that spring, Francis was one of the many civil rights "ex-pats" who frequented the lower east side apartment of Alan Ribback, the musicologist who produced "Movement Soul," songs recorded in the black churches and mass meetings during 1963 and 1964. It was in Alan Ribback's apartment that I first met my husband, Chip Baker, a folk singer from Macon, Georgia, who had left the South a year earlier because of its racial views. Francis lived with our family, on and off, over the years. He and Chip produced "I Remember Martin," which we broadcast on the local radio station that my husband and I built in southern Colorado. The excerpts from "Movement Soul" feature the songs of the mass meetings that were a critical part of the movement, as well as the voices of local activists, including the iconic Fannie Lou Hamer. "I Remember Martin" garnered the 1986 award for Best Public Affairs Program from Colorado MAC (media, agency and client).
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