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Julian Bond co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which helped organize Freedom Summer.
The summer of 1964 challenged Jim Crow segregation and a complacent America that had done little or nothing to ensure democracy for its black citizens. Bringing together soldiers of the summer of ’64 and academics and activists today, the national conference builds a bridge between past and present struggles for equality and explores the question, “What is the meaning of freedom?” in the 21st Century.
Look for extended coverage of Chicago’s involvement in the 1964 Freedom Summer in the next issue of the Reporter.
As a staff member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, Fannie Rushing risked her life to help register African Americans to vote in the South. As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, we should remember Mississippi’s black residents, not just the students who went to the South to help them register to vote. The Chicago Reporter is a nonprofit investigative news organization that focuses on race, poverty and income inequality.
The Chicago Reporter is a publication of the Community Renewal Society, a faith-based organization founded in 1882. By the time she was 23, Mulholland had participated in more than fifty sit-ins and protests. During tonight's program, Mulholland will discuss her experiences and show clips from her son Loki’s film, An Ordinary Hero. Despite the distance, young Joan recognized "the wide discrepancy in conditions for blacks and whites in the South," and had trouble reconciling it with the lessons that she had been taught at school and church.
While attending Duke University, she participated in her first sit-ins and was arrested twice, a fact that did not please the university administration. Fascinating stuff, for sure, but Joan Mulholland's story is much too deep to cover in a short video and blog post.
WETA Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM are community-based public broadcasting stations serving the Washington area and supported by listeners and viewers. Civil Rights activist Dorie Ladner speaks to the crowd at the Black and Blue Civil War Living History event on the grounds of Historic Jefferson College.
We've been given exclusive access to the collection being built for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Croix De Guerre, 1914-1918The Croix de Guerre was sometimes awarded to American individuals or military units. Cross Burning In North Carolina; Photo By Jim WallaceIn the early 1960s, University of North Carolina student Jim Wallace, who was not black, photographed a Ku Klux Klan rally and cross burning to document what he thought was a great evil, museum director Lonnie Bunch says. Ku Klux Klan Rally In North Carolina; Photo By Jim WallaceAs civil rights activists became more organized from 1963-64, opposition activity also increased.
SNCC PromotionAs the civil rights movement gained momentum in 1960, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Formed in North Carolina, SNCC (often pronounced "snick") helped organize the Freedom Rides, voter registration campaigns and the March on Washington. Denim Vest With SNCC ButtonsMulholland joined SNCC in 1960 and served as an office assistant in Mississippi for several years.
John Brown And Frederick Douglas LettersLetters written to his wife while he was visiting Frederick Douglas express John Brown's commitment to abolition, but also his longing to see her and his family.
Knights Of The Ku Klux Klan Banner, Early 20th Century The Ku Klux Klan, originally founded in 1865 by veterans of the Confederate Army, was an insurgent group that undertook violent and vigilante activities during Reconstruction. Tin Man Headdress From The Broadway Production Of 'The Wiz,' 1975As part of the Black Fashion Museum Collection, the museum acquired costumes that were designed by Geoffrey Holder for the Broadway musical The Wiz. Bo Diddley's HatBo Diddley was born in McComb, Miss., in 1928 and became one of rock music's principal architects in the 1950s. Voting by blacks in Mississippi had been suspended by intimidation and violence in 1875 and made difficult by registration requirements, such as the poll tax, in the state constitution of 1890.
Starting in 1961, another activist organization, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), organized voter registration campaigns in heavily-black, rural counties of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. SNCC workers helped organize the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964, an effort to focus national attention on Mississippi’s racism by recruiting Northern college students to work in the state. The Summer Project led directly to the creation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). Much progress was made in registering black voters after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As we recognize and celebrate Black History Month, it is important to take a moment to remember and honor the contributions of LGBT black figures who have shone throughout the course of our nation's history. These black LGBT icons, while often invisible or erased from the dominant queer narrative, have been at the heart of our struggle for rights and inclusion. In fact, what many refer to as the LGBT movement's beginning, the rebellion against the police at the Stonewall Inn, was predominately instigated by queer and trans youth of color.
In celebration of Black History Month and the journey of queer people throughout time, check out the selection of 23 influential black LGBT icons below.
Writer Alice Walker earned a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple, which was later adapted into film. Patrik Ian Polk is an openly gay film director who is known for his films on the African American LGBT experience and relationships. Conference registration is closed, but you can watch the keynote speeches and plenaries below.



But the struggle for freedom Down South also transformed the social justice movements in Chicago, as local blacks began to connect economic oppression in the North and racial oppression in the South. Attorney Martin Popper called it “the first interracial lynching in the history of the United States.” The brutal June 21, 1964 murders of young activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner were committed to send a message. The Reporter was founded by civil rights activist John McDermott in 1972 to measure the city's progress toward racial equality. We will not share your email with anyone for any reasonLike everyone in the civil rights movement, Moses was horrified by the killings in Birmingham, but he was equally shaken by the death months later of Lewis Allen in January 1964.
Hopefully you're planning on going to the Arlington Historical Society's free public program with civil rights activist Joan Mulholland. She was a Freedom Rider, a participant in the near riotous Jackson, Mississippi Woolworth Sit-in, and helped plan and organize the March on Washington in 1963.
After dropping out of Duke in 1960, she returned home to Arlington and help the local Civil Rights effort spearheaded by the Non-violent Action Group based at Howard University. I could use my white skin to go into a lunch counter, sit down and get a lot of food and then when my black friends sat down next to me I could pass some over. Please upgrade your browserrwsvcrryudbbqcctwcfsrw or activate Google Chrome Frame to improve your experience. Ladner worked with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee’s Freedom Ballot project in Natchez in 1964 and 1966. This year’s Black and Blue Civil War Living History Camp connected the struggles of the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, linking the stories of black soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War with those of activists and advocates who helped organize the Civil Rights Movement in Natchez.
1973Lester Maddox was the owner of the Pickrick Cafeteria, which kept a dozen axe handles a€” "Pickrick Drumsticks," he called them a€” by the front door. Former member Joan Trumpauer Mulholland participated in several SNCC activities and donated several objects to the museum.
Deagan Chicago Vintage Railroad Dinner Bell ChimesEmployment as a railroad porter was considered one of the most stable and prestigious occupations open to African-Americans during the early- and mid-20th century. The group faded away in the 1870s, but fueled by glorified images of the Klan in the film Birth of the Nation, was founded again in 1915 as a fraternal organization that developed orders nationwide with local chapters. Johnson To Sign The Voting Rights Act Of 1965 The act outlawed educational requirements for voting. In McComb, Mississippi, Robert Moses of SNCC led a registration effort despite constant terrorism. When white Democrats in Mississippi refused to accept black members in their delegation to the Democratic National Convention, Fannie Lou Hamer and others went to the convention and challenged their right to represent Mississippi.
The most obvious effect was in the number of political offices opened to black candidates. As a civil rights activist she walked in the 1963 March on Washington and volunteered to register black voters in Georgia and Mississippi.
Polk's 2008 film "Noah's Ark: Jumping The Broom" won a GLAAD Award for Best Feature Film and was nominated for three NAACP awards. Even in the South, the state was notorious for its racist brutality toward blacks and white integrationists.
Allen was an eyewitness to the fatal 1961 shooting of Herbert Lee, a black farmer from Amite County who had been helping Moses with voter registration.
On a local level, she was part of the first Arlington sit-ins, which integrated lunch counters across northern Virginia, and helped to coordinate demonstrations at Glen Echo Park, Bethesda's Hiser Theater amongst other locations. She grew up in Arlington, Virginia at a time when whites and blacks had very little contact.
Then, in 1961, Mulholland answered the call for the jail-in in Rock Hill, South Carolina and, later, the Freedom Rides, which took her to Mississippi.
Despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed segregation in public accommodations, Maddox refused to serve African-Americans, running a group of protesters off with a pistol while his son, customers and employees brandished the axe handles. This engraved dinner chime was presented as a retirement gift to Leo LaRue, a porter who served executives for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in the 1960s and '70s.
Johnson symbolically chose to sign the Voting Rights Bill in the President's Room, just off the Senate chamber, where Abraham Lincoln had signed legislation freeing slaves employed by the Confederacy on Aug. In 1962 and 1963 SNCC worked for voter registration in the Mississippi Delta, where it found local supporters like activist farmworker Fannie Lou Hamer. National party officials offered two convention seats to the MFDP delegation, but they rejected the compromise and went home. By 1996, 10 of the 52 members of the Mississippi Senate were black, as were 34 of the 122 members of the House of Representatives.
Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature at the City of Chicago’s Carter G. Freedom Summer Protests Won Progress At a Bloody PriceBob Moses talks about the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer protests that he helped organize—protests that changed the status quo forever.Fifty years ago this June, Mississippi Freedom Summer began. Porter, a slave trader based in Barbados, sold slaves along the coasts of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and the Carolinas, circa 1815-1830. However, the MFDP challenge later resulted in more openness to blacks and other minorities in the Democratic Party. Law enforcement was integrated, and many blacks began to hold local and county positions, both elected and appointed.


By the end of that momentous summer, officials had found the remains of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Woodson Regional Library documents the ties between Chicago and the freedom movement in the South.
I don't really remember specifically but people that did the cutting the grass, picking up the trash were probably black.
When they reached Jackson, Mississippi, they were arrested and imprisoned for 45 days at the state penitentiary, thus ending the protest. Hurst, a white state representative who was never indicted by a coroner’s jury after he claimed he was defending himself against Lee.Allen offered to testify against Hurst, but when Moses asked the Justice Department to give Allen protection, Justice Department officials refused to do so, paving the way for Allen’s death. I could blend into a crowd and have my money, back before cell phones, have my dimes to phone back to the central location – the NAACP office or whatever.
Board of Education called for an end to racial segregation in public schools throughout the United States.
However, the freedom rides left the strong impression that blacks were willing to subject themselves to violence to end segregation.
What he could not foresee was that a half century later Freedom Summer would not be ancient history. Moses believed such civil rights-inspired murders would continue to go unpunished in Mississippi if the victims were black, and he saw Freedom Summer as one antidote to that problem. Moses was candid in 1964 about his motives for bringing white students to Mississippi at a time when so much of the country was indifferent to the killing of blacks in Mississippi.
He was commissioned as a first lieutenant in 1917, assigned to Camp Meade and later was a major in the Reserves. The Brown decision directly affected Mississippi, where school segregation had long been required by state law. The values it stood for are under siege again—this time by modern voter suppression legislation that, instead of brutalizing minorities, uses onerous ID requirements to keep them from the polls.The broad link between America’s racial past and present is one that Bob Moses, now in his seventies, finds compelling. When I interviewed him earlier this year, we talked at length about Freedom Summer, but what preoccupies Moses today is continuing to organize around the changes Freedom Summer sought to make permanent.Since 1982 Moses, a MacArthur Foundation “genius award” winner, has devoted himself to the Algebra Project, which he began as an undertaking designed to help poor, minority children acquire the tools needed for success in school. On June 21, three Mississippi Freedom Summer workers—James Chaney, a black Mississippian, and Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, both white New Yorkers—disappeared shortly after arriving in Meridian, Mississippi, from Oxford, Ohio. Their disappearance became national news.CBS made the disappearance of the three men the subject of an evening special, “The Search in Mississippi” with Walter Cronkite. Math literacy and economic access are the Algebra Project’s foci for giving hope to the younger generation.”  Fifty year ago defining the goals of the Mississippi Summer Project was equally crucial for Moses. President Johnson ordered the FBI into action, and the House and Senate reached agreement on July 2 over a Civil Rights Bill that the president wanted to sign no later than July 4.The Johnson administration even reached out to Moses.
Freedom Summer never became associated in the media with the kind of soaring rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington.
John Doar, the deputy attorney general for Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department, arranged for Moses to meet with former CIA director Allen Dulles, who had been sent to Mississippi to help set up a new FBI operation there. Nonetheless, behind Freedom Summer lay a similar idealism.The lunch counter sit-ins and Freedom Rides of the early ’60s had already made ending desegregation a dramatic issue for the nation. Moses still remembers the meeting in Jackson, which included among others Mississippi civil rights leaders Aaron Henry and Charles Evers. The aim of Freedom Summer was to build on that momentum by giving an explicitly political focus, centered on the right to vote, to the civil rights movement.For Moses, the idealism of Freedom Summer was inseparable from the practical task of making it work.
In 1962 SNCC and a group of civil rights organizations—the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)—had joined together to form The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO).A year later in the fall 1963 Mississippi state elections, COFO aided by Yale and Stanford students staged a symbolic “freedom vote” to show that if blacks could go to the polls without fear of reprisals, they would do so in record numbers.
The meeting gave Moses the chance to remind Marshall, whom he had met with before, that COFO was not going to be carrying out demonstrations that were sure to result in mass arrests and expensive legal fees the alliance could not afford.There would, nonetheless, be more violence before the summer was over. In addition to the three murders, COFO would report four shootings, 52 serious beatings, 250 arrests, and 13 black churches burned to the ground by summer’s end.The violence would not, however, accomplish its purpose of ending the Summer Project. This time a presidential election, not simply statewide elections, would be at issue, but the publicity the freedom vote had won earlier was not all that led Moses to favor the Mississippi Summer Project, despite the doubts many in COFO had about the values of bringing large numbers of white college students to Mississippi.The response of the white South to the 1963 March on Washington was a new wave of racial violence. Moses can recall only one volunteer deciding to go home after Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner disappeared. As the summer wore on, Mississippi officials, not the Freedom Summer workers, were the ones put on the defensive.On August 4, the degree to which the old way of doing business in Mississippi was in jeopardy became clear when the FBI found the bodies of the three murdered civil rights workers buried in an earthen dam.
The leaders of the Mississippi Summer Project were predominantly black; the foot soldiers who took orders from them were predominantly white. He sent Senator Hubert Humphrey, a longtime champion of civil rights who aspired to be Johnson’s running mate in 1964, and Walter Reuther, the president of the United Auto Workers, to negotiate a deal with the MFDP.It was a futile mission. At the time Moses thought the decision of how to deal with the National Democratic Party was one for the MFDP, not COFO, to make, and he willingly joined the MFDP’s protest outside the Democratic National Convention.Moses has not changed his thinking about the MFDP’s strategy in 1964, but today he believes the most important consequence of the Atlantic City Convention protest was its effect on the Democratic Party. As he now puts it, “They did not want to go through this again four years later.”By the time the convention was over, the Democratic Party had completed rules that in the future prohibited the seating of segregated delegations. At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the credentials committee barred the segregationist Mississippi delegation by an 84-10 vote, seating an integrated delegation in its place.Even before then it was clear, however, that Freedom Summer had taken on a life of its own.
In December 1964 Martin Luther King could count on his worldwide audience understanding his reference to the Summer Project when, during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, he declared, “I am mindful that only yesterday in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young people seeking to secure the right to vote were brutalized and murdered.”Despite the absence of a modern publicity machine, Freedom Summer had become a global event.



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