On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed of the Civil Rights act, making segregation, the practice of having separate facilities, such as bathrooms or drinking fountains, for African Americans, illegal. During that same summer, white college students from across the United States traveled to Mississippi to register African American voters and set up schools to educate the people about their rights. In Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi, Susan Goldman Rubin delves into the events of that summer, including the voters registration campaign, the creation of the Freedom Schools and the tragic murders of three of the Freedom workers.
Questions and Activities
- Investigate the prominent people and organizations that were involved with Freedom Summer:
- Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
- Bob Moses
- Dave Dennis
- Mickey Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Earl Chaney
- Rita Schwerner
- President Lyndon B. Johnson
- Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
- FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
- Inspector Joseph Sullivan
- Sheriff Lawrence Rainey
- Governor Paul Johnson
- Governor George Wallace
- Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
- Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP)
- Ku Klux Klan
- View original photos and documents from Freedom Summer.
- Plan a tour of the major locations of Freedom Summer from the map on page 20 in the book.
- Read the Chicago Tribune's front page reporting on the disappearance and death of the three SNCC workers.
- Many civil rights leaders believed that the only way to achieve their goals was through "nonviolence." What does that mean to you? How did the summer volunteers practice "nonviolence?" Do you think it worked?
- Freedom Summer volunteers gained courage through the power of songs such as "We Shall Overcome," "This Little Light of Mine" and "We'll Never Turn Back." How does music give people courage? Are there songs you listen to that inspire certain emotions in you?
- Plan a
- One of the main reasons for Freedom Summer was to register African American voters in Mississippi. Find out more about the Voting Rights Act of 1965. What did this act do for minorities? How did the 2013 Supreme Court change the act? Did this make the act better for people?
Discover even more about Susan Goldman Rubin and her writing process.