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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Prospectus for a Summer Freedom School Program in Mississippi (Excerpt)

This plan, written by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) member Charles Cobb, proposed that SNCC include Freedom Schools as part of the massive organizing effort it was planning for the summer of 1964. SNCC was creating Freedom Summer [...]

SNCC Outlines a "Citizenship Curriculum" for Mississippi

This curriculum was created by members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) for their Freedom Schools, part of the Freedom Summer organizing effort that brought hundreds of college students from around the country to Mississippi [...]

"The FBI Wants Information About Three Missing Civil Rights Workers"

The three murdered civil rights workers from the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project are pictured on this FBI "missing" poster. On June 21st, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner were abducted and killed by Klansmen in an effort [...]

Security Handbook for Freedom Summer Workers

A copy of the Security Handbook given to participants in the "Freedom Summer" campaign in Mississippi in 1964 highlights the dangers that young civil rights workers were exposed to. Tragically, the precautions suggested by the handbook proved [...]

"African-American children in exhibit area"

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 [...]

"Folksy Joe Harrison playing guitar"

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 [...]

"Freedom School Discussion; 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 [...]

Mississippi Freedom Summer Flier

The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) was a coalition of civil rights organizations that formed in Mississippi in 1962 to coordinate voter registration efforts and broader equal rights reforms. In 1964, COFO launched Freedom Summer, in [...]

Chart of Votes for Freedom Candidates in Official Elections

A coalition of activists led by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) initiated a statewide direct-action voter registration and education campaign in Mississippi. Although most remembered for 1964's Freedom Summer, when black and [...]

Fannie Lou Hamer Electrifies the Democratic Convention

Fannie Lou Hamer grew up as one of 20 children born to sharecroppers in rural Mississippi. She and her husband were eking out a living as sharecroppers near Ruleville when, at the age of 44, she decided to attend a mass meeting about voting in [...]