Freedom Summer for Young People: The Violent Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy
In the summer of 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) sent more than seven hundred college students to Mississippi. The campaign was called “Freedom Summer.” But on the evening after volunteers arrived, three young civil rights workers went missing, presumed victims of the Ku Klux Klan. The disappearance focused America’s attention on Mississippi. In the days and weeks that followed, volunteers and local black activists faced intimidation, threats, and violence from white people who didn’t believe African Americans should have the right to vote. As the summer unfolded, volunteers were arrested or beaten. Black churches were burned. More Americans came to Mississippi, including doctors, clergymen, and Martin Luther King. Freedom Summer brought out the best and the worst in America. The story told within these pages is of everyday people fighting for freedom, a fight that continues today.