Document 17: Elayne DeLott to Benjamin and Rosa Delott, Oxford, Ohio, 24 June 1964, Elaine DeLott Baker Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

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   In another sanitized report to my parents, I minimized the danger of civil rights work and compared the atmosphere of orientation to "camp."

dear mama and daddy,

    it is your wandering daughter reporting in from her latest outpost in ohio, oxford. i am here because i was helping to design a research project for civil rights workers to administer to negroes in miss. to get a picture of the problems of the community and which would be the best way to aid these people in programs. anyway, i started working on it at tougaloo and then they asked me to come up here to the orientation of the summer workers to help train the research people. well, i came, but things never work out the way you expect in bureaucracy. in the end we had to throw out the research project because there weren't enough people to work on it. in the meantime i have taken over all sorts of jobs in the staff. i leave back for miss tomorrow sometimes back to the tame duties of a schoolteacher. believe me, i prefer it to this hectic mess. 200 people getting trained to go down to miss, but it really is fun. kind of like camp with all the freedom songs and the swimming pool, and in a way it's kind of serious because there is the danger that these kids might get jailed or other things. anyway, it was a pleasure to come and it will be a pleasure to go back, and meanwhile i must say i will never feel the necessity to come back to see ohio. i will say one thing, both of the places are intolerably hot. i see absolutely no difference between them. i'll write again.


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