This is the brand new Tumblr for the Freedom School and the Freedom Summer National Youth Summit. These events, centered around the 50th anniversary of the original Freedom Summer in 1964 are a part of the education program of the National Museum of American History designed to educate young people, especially high school students, about the National Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and especially the Freedom Summer itself. The hope is to exploring the meaning of the movement in the lives of youth today and to encourage them to consider the role of young people in making history and shaping the future.
The Freedom Summer Summit is the fourth in a series presented by the American History Museum; previous topics include the Dust Bowl, abolition, and the freedom rides. To read about and watch those programs click here. The topic this year is the Freedom Summer of 1964, when thousands of college students from the north, many of them white, came down to Mississippi, one of the most violent and dangerous areas in the civil rights struggle. The students were taught non-violence by other civil rights leaders including members of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and they came into the Deep South to teach African Americans about government and their history as well as to register them to vote. Freedom schools were set up all across the state of Mississippi and the volunteers were able to do incredible work. The story of the freedom summer was not always rosy though; many activists were beaten and intimidated by racist whites and members of the Ku Klux Klan. The most famous attacks were the brutal murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, who were killed in June, 1964 for their work trying to register African Americans to vote.
The actual Summit on the Freedom Summer will be February 5, 2014 and until then three Freedom Summer Scholars who are interning at the American History Museum will be working with museum staff on the project. Stay tuned on this tumblr for updates about the project and what the interns will be doing leading up to the summit as well as links to the various educational and historical materials for teachers, students, and all those interested in the Freedom Summer.