Wednesday, 20 January 2010

In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution

by Joseph Crespino

It was a remarkable transformation, one that would have been hard to imagine in the summer of 1964, when Mississippi racism seemed so galling and when protesters outside the Republican National Convention held up signs such as "Be with Barry When They Burn the Crosses" and "Goldwater for Governor of Mississippi." That year, Phil Ochs, one of the most prolific voices of the American folk revival, summed up both the outrage over Mississippi injustice and America's liberal consensus in his searing ballad "Here's to the State of Mississippi." The verses, framed around a rhymed quatrain, paid sarcastic tribute to the state. Each ended with a damning couplet and the same ringing refrain: "Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of."

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