The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah Historical Context

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The Civil Rights Movement

Probably the most obvious historical event King uses in Song of Susannah is the civil rights movement, which is referenced on several occasions in the narrative. In stanza 13, for example, Susannah recalls taking part in protests in Mississippi in the early 1960s. She laments the deaths of "James Chaney, twenty-one; Andrew Goodman, twenty-one; Michael Schwerner, twenty-four; O Discordia."

These three were actual historical figures; Schwerner and Goodman were white men from New York, and Chaney was a black man from Mississippi. All three were working on behalf of the Congress of Racial Equality in support of integration issues. They were murdered by members of the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan on June 21, 1964. The discovery of their bodies several weeks later prompted one of the most famous FBI investigations of the era, dubbed Mississippi Burning. (A movie based on this investigation, Mississippi Burning...

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This section contains 431 words
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Buy The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah Study Guide
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