11 Facts About Freedom Summer


Freedom Summer, known as the Freedom Summer Project or the Mississippi Summer Project, was a volunteer campaign in the United States launched in June 1964 to attempt to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi.

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Freedom Summer was built on the years of earlier work by thousands of African Americans, connected through their churches, who lived in Mississippi.

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In 1963, SNCC organized a mock "Freedom Summer Vote" designed to demonstrate the will of Black Mississippians to vote, if not impeded by terror and intimidation.

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Freedom Summer did not allow the MFDP to replace the regulars, but the continuing issue of political oppression in Mississippi was covered widely by the national press.

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Freedom Summer Schools were held in churches, on back porches, and under the trees of Mississippi.

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Freedom Summer Schools operated on a basis of close interaction and mutual trust between teachers and students.

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Freedom Summer Libraries ranged in size from a few hundred volumes to more than 20,000.

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The Freedom Summer Libraries operated on small budgets and were usually run by volunteers.

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At the beginning of the summer the Freedom Houses were places to accommodate the overflow of volunteers, but in the eyes of volunteers by the end of summer they had become structural and symbolical expressions of the link between personal and political change.

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Freedom Summer did not succeed in getting many voters registered, but it had a significant effect on the course of the Civil Rights Movement.

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The seeds planted during Freedom Summer bore fruit in the 1980s and 1990s, when Mississippi elected more black officials than any other state.

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