Seeing Red: Anti-Communism Efforts in Mississippi, 1944-1968

News item published on: 2021-05-19 15:22:00

Anti-communism poster with the words The Fifth Column Conspiracy in America, Authentic Map and Directory.Pamphlets, correspondence, broadsides and state publications that document some of the activities in Mississippi sponsored by anti-communist groups, or those who used the fear of communism to push their agenda, are featured in the online exhibit Seeing Red: Anti-Communism Efforts in Mississippi, 1944-1968.

During and after World War II, Americans feared that communism would infiltrate daily life. To combat these fears, citizens organized anti-communism efforts to inform the public about the possible communist activities on national and local levels.

Mississippi had numerous anti-communism activists and programs. Politicians used anti-communism as an important tool to preserve “the southern way of life.” This approach was particularly useful in the state when trying to prevent racial integration. Because the Communist Party supported equal rights for African Americans, people who worked in the civil rights movement were often called communists. Over time, it was common for politicians in the South to label anyone a communist who disagreed with them on any issues. To be branded a communist would often destroy a person’s life causing him to possibly lose his job or be ostracized by his peers.

The exhibit is available online. For additional information or questions about the exhibit, contact or 601.266.4347.