Alyssa Ness



Download Full Text (764 KB)


Understanding the legacy of Viola Liuzzo’s life is very complex. She was a woman who put her own safety and interests aside to fight for the equal rights of all people. Despite the fact that her efforts in the civil rights movement were genuine, Liuzzo was a heavily criticized figure by government figures and the media in America during 1965, because she challenged American values as a white northern woman, and went to Selma to work in the civil rights movement. Unknown to her, she was fighting for equal rights as a woman whom was not yet viewed as an equal herself. Due to the misogynistic social stereotypes of the time, it was easy for J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI, and The United States government to discredit Liuzzo, and make her a target of sexism through slander in order to deflect the many transgressions they made. Her wrongful death has led to many unanswered and disturbing questions about the government and the lengths they will go to protect themselves, their agenda, and their mistakes.

Publication Date

Spring 2016


United States History | Women's History


Senior capstone, Spring 2016.

Advisor: Chris Danielson, Ph.D.

The Life and Death of Viola Gregg Liuzzo