Sharing Stories Inspiring Change


Letter to Dad from Sylvie

June 24

Dear Dad,
The mood up here [in Oxford, Ohio] is, of course, very strained with those three guys who disappeared Sunday, dead, most likely. Saturday night, I ate dinner with the wife of one of them. She was telling me about all the great things she and her husband were working on. She looks younger than me. What does she do now? Give up the movement? What a terrible rotten life this is! I feel that the only meaningful type of work is the Movement but I don’t want myself or anyone I’ve met to have to die. I’m so shook up that death just doesn’t seem so awful anymore, though. I’m no different from anyone else and if they’re risking their lives, then so must I. But I just can’t comprehend why people must die to achieve something so basic and simple as Freedom…

Love, Sylvie

Elizabeth Sutherland, ed. Letters from Mississippi. (NY: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1965.)

Other license (see note)

Related content:


Letter describes Sylvie's reaction to the disappearance of civil rights workers Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney. Sylvie eats a meal with Rita Schwerner and thinks about the risks involved in the Movement.

Date / time: 
June 24, 1964
Martinez, Elizabeth Sutherland
McGraw-Hill Book Company
Letters from Mississippi
Date published: 

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Letter to Dad from Sylvie." (Viewed on April 24, 2014) <>.