Leadership, Popular Culture and Social Change
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Leadership, Popular Culture and Social Change

Edited by Kristin M.S. Bezio and Kimberly Yost

The newest generation of leaders was raised on a steady diet of popular culture artifacts mediated through technology, such as film, television and online gaming. As technology expands access to cultural production, popular culture continues to play an important role as an egalitarian vehicle for promoting ideological dissent and social change. The chapters in this book examine works and creators of popular culture – from literature to film and music to digital culture – in order to address the ways in which popular culture shapes and is shaped by leaders around the globe as they strive to change their social systems for the better.
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Chapter 5: Women troubadours, horizontal leadership and the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964: a missing chapter in Civil Rights Movement history

Susan J. Erenrich


This chapter revisits the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964 through the eyes of the women singer-songwriters who went to the Black Belt. It highlights the gains and losses, the music, the alternative education programs, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the voter registration drive. Erenrich examines leadership without followership as it relates to the Freedom Summer Project and encourages readers to reflect upon the benefits and drawbacks of popular education methodological practice. Fifty years later, this chapter celebrates, ruminates on and engages in discourse about one of the most momentous initiatives ever launched in the United States and the part played by women troubadours during that hot Mississippi Summer of 1964.

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