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Freedom Summer

Autor:   •  November 12, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,460 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,237 Views

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It was time. It was time for a change in the way people lived in Mississippi. Driving through this city seemed as if it was another world. Although slavery ended and the civil rights movement has been taking its' toll on America, Mississippi has not evolved. For a Negro, to vote in Mississippi was a possible death wish. White officials made it nearly impossible for a Negro to vote due to the expensive poll taxes, difficult literacy test and unjustified harassment. The SNCC, Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, had had enough and financed and organized the Summer Project. The SNCC used their practiced organizers to put together a group of 700 plus volunteers, comprising mostly of white college students. The SNCC's goal was to educate poor Negros by creating Freedom Schools and to register as much of them as they can in the State of Mississippi. Bruce Watson's book, Freedom Summer; the Savage Season that made Mississippi Burn and made America a Democracy, gives an in depth description of the abysmal events that took place during the slow, heated summer of 1964.

In 1964, Mississippi was one of the poorest cities in the United States. Less than five percent of blacks were registered to vote statewide. The racism, segregation, violence and the refusal to act on the Negro's right to vote are what truly sparked the movement in Mississippi that summer. In fall of 1993 COFO, the Council of Federated Organizations, held a mock trial to prove to Mississippians that Negros wanted to vote and to give Negros the practice they needed to cast a ballot. On the day of the mock election 93,000 Negros voted, resulting in the win of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. The results of the mock trial are what initiated the start of the Freedom Summer Movement that following summer. Since the trial was so successful the SNCC decided to send volunteers to Mississippi in 1964, which was a presidential election year between democrat Lyndon B Johnson and republican Barry Goldwater, in order to develop the black voter registration, to establish a party that would challenge the white democratic party (known at the "Freedom Democratic Party") and to educate blacks by forming schools and assist them with medical and legal needs, formally know as the Freedom Summer. Blacks and whites working together is what made the Freedom Summer movement so remarkable. It is one of the only movements that had blacks helping blacks as well as whites helping blacks. White college students, who knew of the violence in Mississippi, risked their lives so that blacks could potentially live a fair and just life. Students went out of their way to help the Negros of Mississippi. Watson says that "By late may, more than 700 students had chosen to forgo internships, opt out of summer jobs, let Europe Cathedrals wait and instead spend a summer in Mississippi" (18). There was passion in their hearts. The students were even taught how

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