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Ed Hamlett White Folks Project Collection

Identifier: M376

Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection consists of the following: photocopied letters of general correspondence; photocopied letters of organizational correspondence; photocopied and original White Folks Project (WFP) and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) daily reports; photocopied WFP meeting minutes; original completed Freedom Summer volunteer applications; photocopied and original articles, newsletters and booklets; photocopied photographic materials; and a 45-minute videotaped interview with the sister of a WFP volunteer.


  • circa 1963-2001


Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Ed Hamlett was state director of the White Southern Students Project (WSSP), later known as the White Folks Project (WFP), in association with Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964. The outreach project was designed to help awaken poor white communities in the south to the social inequalities they lived with and to similar situations in southern black communities.

In February 1964, Mr. Hamlett was appointed WFP field secretary and began working at the Jackson Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) office in preparation for WFP orientations in Ohio and Tennessee. During this time, Mr. Hamlett met and worked with Sam Shirah, a Biloxi/Gulfport WFP volunteer. Mr. Hamlett’s responsibilities as director ended in the early part of fall 1964.

Hamlett’s activities as an advocate for civil rights spanned a period of approximately ten years. He continued to work in civil rights following Freedom Summer, as evidenced by his participation in the Southern Student Organizing Committee’s (SSOC) black community projects in December 1964.

For the past 28 years Mr. Hamlett has worked as a nurse in psychiatry.


.45 Cubic Feet : MC2/D11

Language of Materials



Original and printed materials accumulated by the state director of the White Folks Project, a part of Freedom Summer 1964; includes tape of recent interview with sister of WFP volunteer Sam Shirah; Photocopy of “Poor Whites and the Movement, A Working Paper.”



Series I: Correspondence

Series II: Business records

Series III: Publications

Series IV: Photographic materials

Series V: Audiovisual materials

Series VI: Oversized materials

Series I, Correspondence, is divided into two sub-series, General and Organizational. Folders for general correspondence hold letters sent to Mr. Hamlett from individuals discussing volunteer work for the WFP. Also included are letters between WFP staff members and their close friends or family, and letters to Mr. Hamlett from active volunteers with concerns about the project. Folders for organizational correspondence hold letters received by Mr. Hamlett from organizations interested in merging projects, or ideas, letters sent from staff members about volunteers and letters between staff members about promotional materials.

Series II, Business Records, is divided into three main sub-series: daily reports, meeting minutes, and volunteer applications. The folder for daily reports holds the day to day personal accounts of civil rights activities in various regions within Mississippi ca. summer 1964. The folder for meeting minutes holds copies of executive and local WFP meeting minutes. The folder for volunteer applications holds forms filled out by individuals mentioned frequently in the collection’s meeting minutes and in letters of correspondence.

Series III, Publications, is divided into three main sub-series: articles, newsletters and booklets. Materials in this series are assumed to have been gathered by Mr. Hamlett during his years spent advocating for civil rights. Some of the publications relate specifically to the WFP and some to other important aspects of the civil rights movement. Included is an original Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party booklet and a signed copy of a booklet titled, Majority-Black School Districts in the 11 Southern States, with Part Two, “Three Majority-Black Districts in South Carolina” authored by Ed Hamlett.

Series IV, Photographic Materials, is a collection of photocopied photographic images taken at an unknown gathering.

Series V, Audiovisual Materials, is a folder holding Ed Hamlett’s ca. 45-minute interview with Sue Shirah, sister of Sam Shirah, a Biloxi/Gulfport civil rights volunteer. Sam and Mr. Hamlett first became acquainted during his tenure in Jackson, MS prior to Freedom Summer 1964. In the 2001 interview, Sue discusses how Sam’s civil rights activities impacted her family before, during and after Freedom Summer.

Series VI, Oversized Materials, consists of two oversized copies of The Southern Patriot and oversized news clippings about the disappearance of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, Freedom Summer volunteers who were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi.

Existence and Location of Copies

For Digitized Materials from this collection, see: External Documents link at bottom of page.

Related Materials

M378 Tiberiis (Douglas) White Folks Project Collection

M363 Shirah (Samuel C. Jr.) Papers


Materials in this collection were generated and/or maintained by Mr. Ed Hamlett and donated on January 25, 2001.
Ed Hamlett White Folks Project Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001