541226914

Annie Devine was, as described by Victoria Gray, “a behind the scenes giant, a god-sent giant who came and dwelt and worked on the back roads in the rural places.” Devine lived in Canton, Mississippi, which, as of 1963, was 75% African American yet had 0 black registered voters due to voter suppression (intimidation, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, etc.). She joined CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, and started working full-time on getting people in the community to come to CORE workshops and get registered to vote. Devine helped to found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (alongside Fannie Lou Hamer and Victoria Gray). Though the MFDP’s efforts to challenge the convention failed, as the National Democratic Party denied them seating, Devine and others did not give up. She stood in the House of Representatives (one of the first three Black women to do so) and called for the body to refuse membership to the newly elected Mississippi representatives because black people could not vote in the state. Because of this action, Congress began investigations into Mississippi voter suppression.

Source: https://snccdigital.org/people/annie-devine/

Advertisements