"Of 500,000 potential Negro voters in the South, constituting 60 per cent of the total Southern vote, only 20,000 now vote," Charles McDew said in a speech last night in Harvard Hall.
McDew, chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), is currently on a speaking tour to raise money for the Committee's activities.
Speaking before a small but enthusiastic audience, McDew outlined the history of the Committee and answered questions after his speech. The Committee, formed after the sit-ins in February, 1960, was set up by "students actively involved in protests" and consisted of "representatives from across the South."
In discussing the "new direction" his Committee's activities have taken in the last few months, McDew said the idea of "addressing themselves to the political situations of the South" took shape in May, 1961. The Committee wants to do something about the "exploitation and oppression" of the Negro which is greatest in the deep South, he said.
The group is now concentrating on registration and education programs for which it is raising money. It is also concerned with securing books for the education program and enlisting Northern students to work on voter registration in the South.