Many Minds, One Heart

SNCC's Dream for a New America

By Wesley C. Hogan

480 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 15 illus., appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5959-9
    Published: February 2009
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-6789-1
    Published: January 2013
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7889-2
    Published: January 2013

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Awards & distinctions

2008 Lillian Smith Book Award, Southern Regional Council

2008 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction

2009 Scott Bills Memorial Prize, Peace History Society

How did the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee break open the caste system in the American South between 1960 and 1965? In this innovative study, Wesley Hogan explores what SNCC accomplished and, more important, how it fostered significant social change in such a short time. She offers new insights into the internal dynamics of SNCC as well as the workings of the larger civil rights and Black Power movement of which it was a part.

As Hogan chronicles, the members of SNCC created some of the civil rights movement's boldest experiments in freedom, including the sit-ins of 1960, the rejuvenated Freedom Rides of 1961, and grassroots democracy projects in Georgia and Mississippi. She highlights several key players--including Charles Sherrod, Bob Moses, and Fannie Lou Hamer--as innovators of grassroots activism and democratic practice.

Breaking new ground, Hogan shows how SNCC laid the foundation for the emergence of the New Left and created new definitions of political leadership during the civil rights and Vietnam eras. She traces the ways other social movements--such as Black Power, women's liberation, and the antiwar movement--adapted practices developed within SNCC to apply to their particular causes. Many Minds, One Heart ultimately reframes the movement and asks us to look anew at where America stands on justice and equality today.

About the Author

Wesley C. Hogan is assistant professor of history and codirector of the Institute for the Study of Race Relations at Virginia State University.
For more information about Wesley C. Hogan, visit the Author Page.


"A finely researched, brilliant appraisal of the legendary civil rights organization's philosophical underpinnings, tactics and strategies, organizational structure, influences on the emergence of the New Left, struggles aimed at dismantling white supremacy across the South and its challenges to remain effective during the latter years of the turbulent sixties."--Georgia Historical Quarterly

"Hogan's impressive Many Minds, One Heart. . . . does a fine job of analyzing how SNCC combated racism in some of the worst parts of the nation and, for a brief moment at least, allowed sharecroppers, students, and other ordinary folk--both black and white--to believe that a deeper, richer, more democratic culture was possible in America. . . . Many Minds, One Heart offers a poignant, detailed examination of how SNCC's efforts in the South gave Americans a chance to see ordinary citizens transforming their communities on an unprecedented scale."--Washington Post

"Hogan provides insights into activism, political organization, and personal transformation that not only deepen our understanding of the civil rights movement but offer lessons for all who seek to advance the grand vision SNCC embodied."--The Journal of American History

"A valuable complement to other institutional biographies."--American Historical Review

"Hogan's great storytelling ability makes this book well worth reading. . . . Hogan captures the essence and underlying spirit that propelled a movement and led many to risk their lives in the fight for freedom."--Journal of African American History

"[A] Brilliant and carefully researched work. . . . Magnificent. . . . Essential."--CHOICE