Freedom Summer Resources

This page provides links to Civil Rights Movement Archive resources that have significant content related to the Freedom Summer projects of 1964 and 1965 and their role in the Freedom Struggle.

The various summer projects were designed to bring in to the South out-of-state Civil Rights Movement volunteers to assist local community organizing and voter registration efforts. The largest and best known Freedom Summer effort was the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project effort organizied by the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) which was itself a coaltion of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). CORE also ran 1964 summer projects in Louisiana and North Florida.

In 1965, COFO and CORE ran smaller follow-on projects in Mississippi, Louisiana, and North Florida. Also in 1965, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organized the multi-state Summer Community Organizing Political Education (SCOPE) project in Virginia, the two Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

Contents:

Freedom Summer Photos
Freedom Summer Interviews, Memories & Stories
Remembrances of Freedom School Students
CRMA Freedom Summer History Articles
1960s Era Freedom Summer Speeches and Articles by Movement Veterans
Original Freedom Summer Document Collections
Post-1960s Freedom Summer Commentaries & Analyses by Veterans
Freedom Summer Film, Video and Audio Recordings

Freedom Summer Photos

Freedom Summer, 1964.
SCOPE Project, 1965.

Freedom Summer Interviews, Memories & Stories

In the summers of '64 and '65 more than a thousand volunteers came South to support the Civil Rights Movement. They worked in Black communities and were housed in the homes of courageous African Americans who defied segregation. Led by each communities' local leaders and supervised by SNCC, CORE, and SCLC field secretaries, they assisted with voter registration and forming political organizations, taught in Freedom Schools, set up community centers, offered legal aid, and provided emergency medical care. Along with the people whose lives they shared in the Black community, they endured the danger and hardship of civil rights work in the Deep South.

Most of the SNCC, CORE, and SCLC staff who led the volunteers were African American
Most of the volunteers — but certainly not all — were college students or recent grads.
Most of the volunteers  — but certainly not all — were from the North.
Most of the volunteers — but certainly not all — were white.

They were warned of the danger they would face — but they came anyway. Three in 1964, and one in 1965, were murdered by racist police and Klan, others were beaten, abused, and jailed. They were a living witness of solidarity with the courageous communities of Mississippi who were demanding freedom and equality for all. These are their stories:

Year without parenthesis is year events occurred. Year in parenthesis is year story was told or written.
UnidentifiedMama, I Got to Do It, I Got To, Mississippi
Sandra AdickesHistory Lessons in Hattiesburg, MS. 1964
George AlbertzTells His Experiences as a Freedom Summer volunteer, MS. 1964
Chude Pam Parker Allen   My Parents Said Yes!" MS. 1964
Why I Am Going to Mississippi
Would You Marry One?
Loneliness in the Circle of Trust
Watching the Iris Grow
An Activist & Freedom School Teacher (2018)
David BailinMississippi Summer Project Diary. 1964
Corinne Freeman Barnwell   Mass Meetings & New Orlans Freedom School, LA. 1965 (2014)
My Freedom School Experiences — Mississippi & New Orleans, 1964-65 (2018)
Stephen BinghamA WASP in the Movement, MS. 1963-64. (2018)
Heather Tobis BoothInterview, MS. 1964 (2012)
Memories From Shaw, Especially of the Hawkins Family, MS. 1964 (2014)
Ron (Cole) BridgeforthStarkville & Oktibbeha County Mississippi, 1964 (2013)
To be Worthy of the Trust (2018)
Peter BuckTranscript of 1965 Journal, AL. 1965
Larry ButlerDiary of an Alabama SCOPE Volunteer, AL. 1965
Charleana CobbInterview, by Gloria Xifara Clark, MS. 1964 (1995)
Lester ColesInterview by Joe Sinsheimer re Fredom Summer MS. 1964
Fatima Cortez-ToddInterview, by students. LA. 1964 (2012)
Honoring Our Ancestors, Honoring Ourselves (2010)
William (Bill) DayFrom Kansas to Mississippi, 1964. (2020)
Jennie Nancy DishotskyMemories of the Freedom Summer Project, MS. 1964 (2014)
Karen DuncanwoodRemembrances of Mississippi Summer 1964 (2010)
Gail FalkRemembering Freedom Summer, MS. 1964 (2013)
Barney FrankInterview re Freedom Summer, by Joe Sinsheimer, MS. 1964 (1983)
Joanne GavinAnswers to Jon Hale's Freedom School Questionnaire, MS. 1964 (2008)
Maria GitinStory From Wilcox County, Alabama Alabama
Sim Pettway, Student Civil Rights Leader, Camden AL. 1965
Letter From Wilcox County, AL
Lynn Goldberg Diary of a Young Civil Rights Worker, SC 1965
Linda HalpernThe Shooting of Silas McGhee Greenwood, MS. 1964
Stokely and Freedom Summer (2018)
Sandra HardStatement about Freedom Summer, MS
Robert C. HargreavesMississippi Freedom Summer 1964 (2013)
Bruce HartfordSCOPE—Crenshaw County Alabama, 1965
Rural Alabama Sit-in, 1965 (2002)
Dave's Driving Lesson, 1965 (2002)
Showdown in Brantley, 1965 (2002)
Albert Turner & the Rocking Chair, 1965. (2010)
Janet Heinritz-CanterburyFrom Appleton to Gee's Bend MS, AL, 1965 (2018)
Marion HellandFreedom School, Voter Registration, Marches, AL MS, 1965-66
James KatesJune & August, 1964 MS.
Lanny KauferUCSB SCOPE Project, Sussex County, VA. 1965 (2013)
SCOPE Project Success Story, VA. (2013)
Adam KlineGreenwood Mississippi, 1964 (2010)
Marion KwanFighting for Civil Rights in Hattiesburg, MS 1965
They Hadn't Counted On Me Comin', MS 1965
Daily Log, Hattiesburg. 1966
From Chinatown to Mississippi (2018)
Sherie LabedisFireball in the Night, SC. 1965 (2010)
Journal Excerpts, SCLC/SCOPE. SC, 1965
Rebecca Crawford: A Line in the Sand, SC, 1965 (2013)
Charles LeckRiding on the Spirit of New Orleans, MS. 1964 (2007)
Mark LevyI'm Still Arguing With My Mother, MS. 1964 (2014)
Lillie and AliceTestimony of two teenagers jailed in Jackson, MS. 1965
Karol Nelson McMahanFighting for Freedom in the Mississippi Sun, 1964 (2005)
Marcia MooreFreedom Summer, My Parents and Me, 1964 (2013)
Fran O'BrienFaith and Activism, MS. 1964 (2004)
Pike County AL volsJournal, AL. 1965
Vincent K. PollardVeterans Roll Call Statement, GA. 1965
Peggy Ryan PooleSCOPE in Sussex County, VA. 1965. (2018)
Meg ReddenFreedom Summer ~ A Memoir, LA. 1964
Neil ReichlineVeterans Roll Call Statement, GA. 1965
Ron RidenourFreedom Summer Orientation, MS. 1964
On the Road to Freedom, MS. 1964
Personal Diary, Moss Point, MS. 1964
Wally RobertsSheriff Capps & the Shaw Freedom School, MS. 1964 (2014)
Larry RubinA Walk in Holly Springs: 1964, MS.
Jeffrey SchwartzCORE's Freedom Summer — My Experiences in Louisiana, 1964 (2010)
Jonathan SteeleSummer of Hate, MS. 1964 (2004).
Richard StephensonVeterans Roll Call Statement, AL. 1965
Roy TorkingtonItta Bena and Elsewhere, MS. 1964 (2011)
Rita WalkerMeeting the Freedom Workers, MS. 1964
Life in Mississippi: Negro Motherhood
Bob WeilA Faulkner Tale, MS. 1964 (2010)
Mark WeissInterview, MS 1964 (2012)
Grenville WhitmanMississippi Summer 1964 (2004)
Bright WinnMrs. Magruder, MS 1964 (2010)
Mississippi Revisited, (2013)

Remembrances of Freedom School Students

Jacqulyn Reed Cockfield
Zellie Rainey Orr
Emily Rembert

 

CRMA Freedom Summer History Articles

Freedom Day in Hattiesburg (Jan, 1964)
Louis Allen Murdered (Jan, 1964)
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) Founded (April 1964)
1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Events (June-Aug)
Mississippi Summer Project
Organizational Stucture of Freedom Summer
Lynching of Chaney, Schwerner, & Goodman (June)
Freedom Schools
Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR)
The McGhees of Greenwood
McComb — Breaking the Klan Siege (July '64-March '65)
MFDP Challenge to Democratic Convention (Aug)
Wednesdays in Mississippi (1964-1965)
Delta Ministry Founded in Mississippi (Sept, 1964)
1965 Summer Community Organization Political Education Project (SCOPE)
Jackson, MS Protests (June, 1965)
Americus GA Protests (July, 1965)
Murder of Jonathan Daniels (Aug, 1965)

 

1960s-Era Freedom Summer Articles & Speeches by Veterans

Some Notes on Education, Charles Cobb, SNCC.
Tired of Being Sick and Tired, Jerry DeMuth, SNCC. The Nation, 1964. (SNCC reprint)
Long Hot Summer in Mississippi & Letter From the South, Kitty Baker, WILPF. July 1964.
The Southern Front: 2 Weeks in Mississippi, Bell Gale (Jackson). (Village Voice)
Freedom Day in Cleveland MS, Wally Roberts. July, 1964
Violence in Mississippi, Jerry DeMuth, SNCC. August 1964
Freedom Schools Open a Door to the World, Joanne Grant. National Guardian. August 29, 1964
All My Days, Wally Roberts. July, 1964
Freedom Summer sermon, Rev. Bruce Hanson, SNCC. August 2, 1964
SNCC: Collegians vs The Klan, Jerry DeMuth. Rogue Magazine, August 1964
Mississippi at Atlantic City Charles Sherrod, SNCC. August 1964
Mimeo version, Reprint version
Letter From Jackson re Freedom Summer, Calvin Trillin, New Yorker. August 29, 1964
The Cat and Mouse Game, Elizabeth Sutherland (Betita Martinez), SNCC (reprint from The Nation, Sept 1964)
A Parent Looks Beyond The Summer, William Mandel. (Campus CORE-Lator)
The Mississippi Summer Project and the Closed Society, Joe White. (Campus CORE-Lator)
Summer in Mississippi, Jerry DeMuth, SNCC. Nation magazine. September 14 1964
Bob Moses Speech to National Guardian Dinner, November.
Deeper Than Politics, Mississippi Freedom Schools, Liz Fusco, Freedom School coordinator. Liberation, November 1964
Journey to Understanding: Four Witnesses to a Mississippi Summer, Nation. December 1964
     "Introduction," Howard Zinn
     "The Lawyer," William M. Kunstler
     "The Minister," Beverly Allen Asbury
     "The Educator," Richard J. Bernstein
Tremor in the Iceberg: The Mississippi Summer, Eric Morton. (Freedomways, Spring 1965)
Life in Mississippi, Fannie Lou Hamer. (Freedomways, Spring 1965)
Freedom Schools Concept and Organization, Staughton Lynd. (Freedomways.)
The Free Speech Movement and the Negro Revolution (52 page pamphlet), Mario Savio, Eugene Walker, Raya Dunayevskaya, Bob Moses. July 1965
Mississippi 1964, Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson. (Fellowship 1989)

Original Freedom Summer Document Collections

Mississippi Summer Project Documents, 1964
CORE Louisiana Summer Project, 1964
Summer Project Field Reports & Letters, 1964
CORE North Florida Citizenship Education Project, 1964-1965
CORE Louisiana Summer Project, 1965
SCLC Community Organizing & Political Education Project, 1965

Freedom Summer Commentaries & Analyses by Movement Veterans

Frank Bates Interview re SCLC, Taliaferro Co. GA & Crawfordsville. 1965
  PDF transcriptVideo + metadata
Julian BondAddress to Freedom Summer 50th Commemoration, 2014
Ron CarverThe FBI's Mississippi Myopia, 2005
Bell Gale ChivignyMississippi Stories I & II, 1994
Jerry DeMuthMississippi Summer 15 years called a 'Turning Point', 1979
Stuart EwenThis Button Was My Badge, 2017
Jo FreemanYou Came Here to Die, Didn't You?, 2011
 Another Account of the Second Freedom Summer, 2011
Maria GitinWilcox Churches: Sanctuaries & Action Centers, 2014
Lynn Goldsmith GoldbergSt. Matthews, SC and Fifty-one Years, 2016
Carol HanischLetter to the Editor (re Mississippi Burning movie), 1989
Gloria HouseHomily for the Jonathan Daniel Pilgrimage, 2013
Terry V. HowardSCLC & Me (Taliaferro Co. GA movement), 2021
Tim JenkinsAn Epitaph That Keeps Giving, 2014
Jim KatesMississippi Smoldering, 1988
Mark LevyWhat Did You Learn in School Today?, 2015
Sheila LongFifty-Five Years Later, 2020
Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez  On Time in Mississippi, 1964, 1994
Classie McCullough (81)How I Learned About the Right to Vote, 1976
Mike MillerMississippi Movement Memories, 1991
 "Atlantic City Revisited" — Mondale & "The Movement", 2008
 The Mississippi Summer Project 50th Anniversary Notes ..., 2014
 From Protest to Power, 2019
Susan Moon, 1994Beloved Community, Mississippi Revisited, 1994
Bob MosesWe the People (Freedom Summer 50th Commemoration), 2014
 Fannie Lou Hamer and the Racist Dixiecrats (COFO & MFDP)
 The Road to Freedom Summer
 An Earned Insurgency (The thinking behind Freedom Summer)
 "We the People" Force Confronts Democratic Party Leadership in '64 (Convention challenge)
Judy RichardsonMississippi Burning, 1989
 In the Mississippi River: Heroes and Sheroes:, 2014
Smith & MorseFreedom is Not Free: The Meridian Movement of the Mid-60s, 2010
(Multiple authors)Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman 40th Memorial, 2004

 

Films & Documentaries        

1964: The Fight for the Right, by Mississippi Public Broadcasting. This one-hour MPC documentary examines the civil rights movement and its history using the voices of Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and includes Mississippi civil rights workers of today. 2018.

A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer [director's cut], by Richard Beymer, 1964. A documentary film by Richard Beymer Documentary on the Mississippi Freedom Summer. Co-produced by Council of Federated Organization Film (COFO). 28min. YouTube live stream.

Dream Deferred. SNCC, 1964. Produced for Freedom Summer (also available from Prime).

Freedom Summer, Firelight Films. Documentary narrating events of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer. YouTube live stream

The Freedom Summer Murders — Was It Worth It? (re Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman lynching), by two junior high students from New York City as National History Day Competition, 2019. YouTube live stream.

Heather Booth: Changing the World, a documentary film by Lily Rivlin. 2017. How the Civil Rights Movement inspired SNCC activist and Freedom Summer volunteer Heather Booth to a lifetime of fighting for social justice.

Iowans Return to Freedom Summer, by Keeping History Alive foundation. 2015. Firsthand accounts from six Freedom Summer volunteers from Iowa who reflect on their motivations, fears, triumphs and the life altering events that took place 50 years ago. YouTube live stream (IPTV)

Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964: Memory, Legacy & the Way Forward, by Civil Rights History Project Collection (LoC & NMAAHC). 4 hour discussion of the 1964 Freedom Summer project by Bob Moses, Dorie Ladner, Joyce Ladner and Charlie Cobb. 2014.

Mississippi Cold Case, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Documentary about the Ku Klux Klan murders of two 19-year-old young black men, Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, in southwest Mississippi in May 1964.

Mississippi Justice, by Kirstin Butler, Ben Greenberg and Eric P. Gulliver, (American Experience ~ PBS), 2020. Short 14 minute film, the murders of Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman.

Mississippi Summer: The Unfinished Journey. Films for the Humanities, 1993.

Neshoba: The Price of Freedom The lynching of Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman and the struggle to bring their killers to justice.

Pursuing a Late Justice: the Prosecution of Mississippi's Civil Rights Murders. Video tape of forum at University of Southern Mississippi. Can be obtained from: Email: Bobs Tusa, $8.00.

SNCC & Freedom Summer, Freedom School series by SpadeWork Community. 2 hour discussion with Zoharah Simmons and Charles Payne. 2021. YouTube live stream.

Interview, Personal & Group Videos     

Frank Bates, 25 minute interview re SCLC, Taliaferro Co. GA & Crawfordsville.

Walter Bruce, 85-min interview by John Dittmer about Mississippi movement & Freedom Summer, 2011.

Willy Leventhal, three-hour interview by David Cline about SCOPE, SCLC, & the movement. 2013.

Kay Tillow, 73-minute interview by David Cline about the Cairo IL and the freedom and labor movements. 2011.

Audio Recordings  

Mississippi Becomes a Democracy. Story of voter registration, Freedom Summer, and the MFDP challenge in Atlantic City.

Chude Allen, My Mother and Father Believe Ours Is a Good Country 2010

Maria Gitin, Story From Wilcox County, Alabama 2010

Linda Halpern, The Shooting of Silas McGhee 2010

Bruce Hartford, Albert Turner & the Rocking Chair 2010

Don Jelinek, The Two Cows 2010

Adam Kline, Greenwood, Mississippi 2010

Sherie Labedis, Fireball in the Night 2010

Bob Weil, A Faulkner Tale 2010

Bright Winn, Mrs. Magruder 2010

See also:

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) (Articles)

McComb Mississippi Incidents & Events

Mississippi Movement web links

Freedom Summer Web Links

Mississippi Movement books


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