Freedom Summer ( 50 Years Later)
Today America celebrates its Independence Day although our Constitutions espouses the words "All men are created in equal." In the context of African American ( Blacks) that statement has not been accurate while many colonists and the nation's "Founding Fathers" were recognized for overcoming British Tyranny. African Americans were still slaves in 1776 and the years that followed were met with strife due to the color of their skin. Fifty years ago the state of Mississippi gained national attention for what was known as "Freedom Summer."
What was Freedom Summer? Freedom Summer was a movement that occurred in the state of Mississippi where many college students that were members of civil rights activists organizations wanted to get African American citizens registered to vote.
Why was the State of Mississippi So Important? During the time (1964) the state of Mississippi had the lowest record of African American political participation; the record was 6.7% which was the lowest in United States at the time.
Student Led Organizations that Participated in Freedom Summer? Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party ( MFDP), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ( NAACP), and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Important Strategy: The mobilization of white college students from the Northern region of the United States and their participation in this movement attracted news reporters who covered the story.
In addition to increasing political participation among African American citizens in the Deep South the MFDP ( Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party) placed an emphasis on education. 3o Freedom Summer in towns around the state to address racial inequalities in the state's educational system. Predominantly Black schools had less resources such as less teachers and hand me down textbooks. They were being a distorted and extremely racist perspective about the United States that continued infuse a badge of racial inferiority. The college students became the teachers of the African American students during this time period. The Freedom Summer was challenged by white supremacists groups such as the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) and local law enforcement that was biased.
Toni's Thoughts: The Fourth of July has a different meaning to me and honestly its a bittersweet day for me granted I enjoy eating the cookout food and the deserts. But lightning fireworks and getting into the holiday is hard for me knowing that my ancestors were still suffering. By the time my ancestors began challenging the status quo and wanting to be treated as citizens they were met with hostility. Think about 1776 to 1964 look at how much time had passed at that point. I am grateful for the hard work and sacrifices that all of the men and women made in this movement that allotted me the right to vote.