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Monday, July 13th, 2020 by

We mourn the recent loss of Constance “Connie” Curry, eighty-six, a friend of NewSouth Books and a chronicler of those who made a progressive difference in the civil rights era. An activist with a long history at the Student Nonviolent Coordinating connieCommittee and other civil rights organizations, Curry was on the right side of history; better yet, she has recorded and preserved history, some of which she experienced first-hand. A summa cum laude graduate of Agnes Scott and a Fulbright scholar, at the young age of twenty-three Curry was selected to be an adult advisor in SNCC, a position of great import considering the organization’s impact on the movement. Through her reports on sit-ins to friendly media and other outlets, Curry can be credited with spurring on a positive outlook on peaceful resistance. She was also a white volunteer in Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964. Beginning that year, Curry worked eleven years for the American Friends Service Committee, promoting school desegregation in Alabama and Mississippi. Connie would later become an author. In her Lillian Smith Award-winning work of nonfiction, Silver Rights, and in other works she has midwifed or co-written—Bob Zellner’s The Wrong Side of Murder Creek, now a classic about the movement, and Deep in Our Hearts among them—she ensured that the remarkable stories of activists like Julian Bond, Zellner, Bob Moses, Charles Morgan, and many others would survive for future generations. The staff at NewSouth Books enjoyed a long personal relationship with Connie. Co-founders Suzanne La Rosa and Randall Williams fondly remember her fearless intelligence and independent spirit, and her love of good talk, good times, and good people, all reflective of her Irish spirit (she was the daughter of Irish immigrants). We miss her. More information about Connie can be found at the SNCC Digital Gateway website.

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