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Charles "Chuck" McDew

June 1938 - April 3, 2018.

Retired history professor. Charles F. McDew led his first demonstration in the eighth grade, to protest violations of the religious freedom of Amish students in his hometown of Massillon, Ohio. McDew’s career as an activist expanded in scope while he was a freshman at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Inevitably involved in the newborn sit-in movement, he was elected as student leader by his fellow demonstrators. McDew attended the founding conference  of SNCC at Shaw in April 1960 while a student at South Carolina State and a member of The Orangeburg Movement for Civil Improvement. He served as the second Chairman of SNCC, 1960-1963. McDew has been active in organizations for social and political change, working as a teacher and as a labor organizer, managing anti-poverty programs in Washington, D.C., serving as community organizer and catalyst for change in Boston and San Francisco, as well as other communities. He has appeared on countless radio and television programs as a speaker against racism. McDew recently retired from Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis, MN, where his classes in the history of the civil rights movement, African-American history, and in social and cultural awareness were always oversubscribed.  He served faithfully on the SNCC Legacy Project Board, never missing a meeting.  He is survived by his daughter Eva.

 

Read McDew's obituary in The New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/obituaries/charles-mcdew-79-tactician-for-student-civil-rights-group-dies.html

Read McDew's obituary in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/0000251613/?fullname=charles-frederick-mcdew

Listen to an oral history interview with Chuck McDew:

https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2010039_crhp0021
View another interview from 1963:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdRQx1e3kfM
Read the obituary in McDew's hometown paper:

Mission Statement

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Legacy Project (SLP) was begun to preserve and extend SNCC's legacy. Although SNCC the organization no longer exists, we believe that its legacy continues and needs to be brought forward in ways that continue the struggle for freedom, justice and liberty. To that end, the SLP is taking a multi-level approach: archiving SNCC documents digitally to make them easily available for use;  encouraging and assisting in the development of books and other media by SNCC veterans with the idea of having the stories and interpretation of SNCC's work told by its veterans; developing with colleges and universities a program of SNCC visiting professors and scholars who would in formal and informal ways interact with young people on campuses and take advantage of campus resources to begin telling the story as it should be told; and finally anchored by the Algebra Project and Young Peoples Project pursue one of the still great unfulfilled needs of the Freedom Movement: Quality Public Education as a Constitutional Right. Built into our efforts is the determination to see that our legacy, the legacy of the freedom struggle, is passed from our generation to future generations. A Luta Continua!

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