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Herbert Randall's photographs vividly capture the energy, spirit, and excitement of Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Here, some of the 650 or so Freedom School students display their artwork with a gallery decorated by the children's handprints and the word "Freedom." Cecil, the boy on the left, was the son of Victoria Jackson Gray, a…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1964

This account from the Norfolk (Virginia) Journal and Guide, an African-American newspaper, describes the CCC's response to the dishonorable discharge of an African-American corpsman who refused to fan flies off of a white officer. After a protest by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), CCC director Robert Fechner…

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1934

This text highlights the growth of political activism that took place in Harlem during the Great Depression. Discriminatory hiring practices and widespread unemployment triggered job campaigns focused on increasing black employment in the largely white-owned business sector of Harlem and creating more opportunities for qualified blacks in…

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Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Date: 1991

Freedom Summer featured not only voter registration drives and "Freedom Schools" for students, but also many performances by folksingers and theater groups. Traveling theater troupes and nationally acclaimed folksinger Pete Singer came to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, but performers also included local musicians and actors who taught Freedom School…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1964

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, "The Mecca of the Freedom School World," was home to at least seven Freedom Schools (mostly held in church basements) and more than 650 students. Since local segregated black schools did not teach topics like civics or African-American history, these subjects were important parts of the Freedom School curriculum.

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1964

Professor and author Carlos Muñoz, Jr. describes his participation in the 1968 Los Angeles walkouts and the aftermath. He then explores the current inequalities in education and calls for a new wave of student activism and protest.

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 2003

William (Willie) Velásquez founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) in 1974. The son of a butcher from San Antonio, Texas, he spent his adult life as a community organizer and political activist. Inspired by the African-American civil rights movement, he sought to inform and empower Mexican Americans about the…

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 2004

Photographers working for the Farm Security Administration Historical Section (later transferred to the Office of War Information) were encouraged to document continuity and change in many aspects of life in America during the years the unit was in operation. They were particularly encouraged to photograph billboards and signs as one indicator of…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1943

Though rallies featured national figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., and lawsuits were often filed by men, the day-in, day-out on-the-ground organizing and protesting against school segregation was led by mothers who demanded the best possible education for their children. In 1958 in New York City, a group of mothers nicknamed the "Harlem Nine"…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1964

This poster, from A. Philip Randolph's planned March on Washington in 1941, illustrates several issues central to the march. The threat of a large-scale public protest persuaded President Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802, which banned racially motivated employment discrimination in federal government and the defense industry.