This article traces the reinvention and circulation of existential thought and action through the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the first half of the 1960s, especially in Mississippi. Here, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, and the founders of the Free Southern Theater, among others, immersed themselves in the existential questions of freedom and responsibility, pointing the way toward ethical action at a time when there was, as the characters of the FST’s production of Waiting for Godot put it, “nothing to be done.”

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