Charles Cobb, Jr.

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Charles Cobb, Jr.

Charles Cobb, Jr., is an author, poet, and journalist born in Washington, D.C. A field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Mississippi from 1962 to 1967, Cobb originated the “Freedom School” proposal that became a crucial part of the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project. Cobb’s first volume of poetry, In the Furrows of the World (1967), illustrated with his own photographs, grew out of his civil rights work and his 1967 visit to Vietnam. He published another volume of poetry, Everywhere Is Yours, in 1971. Cobb’s more recent work as an essayist and journalist has reflected his interest in social, environmental, and political issues. He is a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists and has reported for WHUR Radio in Washington, D.C., National Public Radio, PBS’s Frontline, and National Geographic. His most recent book is On the Road to Freedom: A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail (2008), a historical guide book to the people, places, and events, especially the lesser-known and grassroots, of the Civil Rights Movement. The Library Journal writes: “His historical perspective is vast, utilizing early American slave revolts and the retrenchment of racist policies following the end of Reconstruction as departure points for the later freedom struggle and drawing on interviews and incredible pictures to show us the trail through haunting imagery.” Cobb co-edited No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000 (2007), and co-wrote, with Robert Moses, Radical Equations: Math Literacy and Civil Rights (2001). He is a senior correspondent for the online news and information agency, in Washington, D.C.

To Vietnam

Carpets cover many floors where I come from
but none kiss the sky.
I have never known before
fields that filled the hungry.

I have never stood free to son,
to sun

Wind has never sung song of Nation
in my black face.

Hanoi 1967


  • “Black Politics and the Establishment: An Interview with Charles Cobb, Jr.” by Rakim H. D. Brooks. Demos. 16 February 2012.
  • “Civil Rights’ Tower of Strength.” The Washington Post. 12 January 2005.


Let Freedom Ring | April 17, 2008
Symposium III | Living History: Activists on Art and Social Justice