Freedom Summer in Mississippi - 1964

During the summer of 1964, university students from various places in the U.S. traveled to Mississippi.  Their plan was to help register African-Americans to vote.

Michael ("Mickey") Schwerner, and his wife Rita, had already established a foothold in the Magnolia State and were friends with James Chaney, an African-American Mississipian from Meridian. 

When Andy Goodman—a student from New York—arrived to help out, Schwerner and Chaney invited him to take a road trip with them.  They were planning to investigate what had happened at a burned-out church.

This clip, from "Eyes on the Prize," incorporates archival footage from 1964.  It describes what took place that summer through interviews with participants (such as Unita Blackwell, Bob Moses, Lawrence Guyot and Dave Dennis) and opponents (such as Judge Tom Brady and William J. Simmons, head of Jackson's White Citizens' Council).

The clip also introduces the three civil-rights workers—Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman—who were killed for doing what was right.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 15, 2014

Updated Last Revision: Feb 09, 2017

Media Credits

Clip from "Eyes on the Prize," online courtesy PBS.  Copyright, PBS, all rights reserved.  Provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program.  It can be purchased at PBS online.


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"Freedom Summer in Mississippi - 1964" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 15, 2014. Jun 05, 2020.
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