The SNCC Legacy Project mourns the death recently of former SNCC Field Secretary Robert C. Mants, Jr. (1943-2011). Bob suffered a massive heart attack Tuesday, December 7, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the photo above, Bob is shown holding a photo taken on Bloody Sunday showing him in the second row with Albert Turner of SCLC. John Lewis and Rev. Hosea Williams in the first row.Born and raised in East Point, Georgia, Bob was a 1961 graduate of East Point/South Fulton High School. While still in high school, Bob was the youngest member of the Committee On Appeal for Human Rights (The Atlanta Student Movement) at the age of 16 and in the 11th grade while at the same time volunteering at the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee Headquarters.

He attended Morehouse College. By the summer of 1964 Bob was working for SNCC in Americus, Georgia. He met his future wife, Joann Christian, while working with the SNCC Southwest Georgia Project. In early 1965 he went to work in Lowndes County, Alabama, and was instrumental in the planning of the Selma-to- Montgomery March in March 1965. On “Bloody Sunday” Bob was in the front ranks of marchers as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

At the 25th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” Bob told the New York Times: “Two months after Bloody Sunday, an organization I was in got to work in nearby Lowndes County, which was 81 percent black and had fewer than 30 black registered voters and no black elected officials.” The result was the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), whose symbol, a black panther, would be adopted by the Movement of that name.

Bob Mants continued to live and work in Lowndes County until his untimely death. He served as a Lowndes County Commissioner for many years, and was chairman of the nonprofit “Lowndes County Friends of the Historic Trail.”

Bob worked with the staff of the Tuskegee University Outreach and Technical Assistance Program for Black Farmers and Ranchers. He was a long time friend of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in Epes, Alabama.

Robert Mants is survived by his wife of 45 years Joann Christian Mants, a high school teacher in Selma, Alabama; three children: Kadisha, Kumasi, and Katanga; and seven grandchildren.

Compiled by Sharlene Kranz

Read more about Bob Mants: Visit the SNCC Legacy Project website at:

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