Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies

First Advisor

Shennette Garrett-Scott

Second Advisor

Brian Foster

Third Advisor

Jodi Skipper

Relational Format



This thesis explores the role of Black-owned grocery stores and their owners during the Mississippi Freedom Struggle Movement. The thesis highlights four Black grocery store owners, and the impact they had on the movement. Grocery stores played a vital role and were often sites of contestants. Black-owned grocery stores served as meeting spaces for Black activism, targets of White domestic terrorism, and safe havens for Black Mississippians. These spaces provided a space for political agency, leisure, and safety. Likewise, this thesis centers Black grocery store owners as fundamental to the progress of the movement. It explores an array of ways that owners were targeted and punished for their role in the movement. This thesis also examines the role of food in the movement, analyzing various ways it halted or progressed Black Mississippians’ activism.

Available for download on Sunday, June 04, 2023