50th Anniversary Freedom Summer

Lab Note #5
Jun 30, 2014

Freedom Summer, also known as the Mississippi Freedom Project, brought together many participants in the Civil Rights Movement to register Black voters in Mississippi as well as open Freedom Schools, Freedom Houses, and community centers to support local Black citizens. Among the supporters were a large contingent of northern, White college students, many of whom were victims of violence (some killed) at the hands of the White Citizens Council and Ku Klux Klan, which polarized our nation.

This past weekend, organizers and activists from across the nation gathered in at Tougaloo College in Jackson, MS to commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. Among the attendees were the field study participants from Florida, the Dream Defenders, as well as the Ohio Students Association, United We Dream, and youth from Freedom Side. Check out the Freedom Summer 50 gallery, which recounts the weekend's events and celebration participants.

I was excited to catch up with the Dream Defenders, with whom many discussions were had about the ongoing work being done on the field study. In addition, I was able to follow-up to gain clarifying information about various questions emerging since beginning analysis of our conversations of the last academic year. They are extremely excited for the forthcoming report on the study and I hope to continue working diligently over the next few months to provide useful data to continue the great work of student activists and organizers.

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