The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell
Published by Scholastic Press 4/29/2014
This summer will be the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Schools in Mississippi. Civil rights workers were sent into the south to educate African Americans and to register them to vote. In June of 1964, three civil rights workers in Mississippi were murdered by the KKK: James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. The Freedom Summer Murders is their story.
Don Mitchell puts together a comprehensive and cohesive text which begins with the racist actions Mississippi took in the 50s & 60s with respect to African-Americans (regardless of various federal laws) and ends shortly after the 2005 conviction of Edgar Ray Killen for orchestrating the murders. Mr. Mitchell proves and concludes that more than the KKK, these three men were “killed by institutional racism.” Included in the text are portraits of other civil rights leaders and citizens whose paths intersected in Mississippi during the summer of 1964. Extensive back matter contains a bibliography, primary source materials, and an index. This is well researched and profound book which students will read for knowledge and teachers will use for their Civil Rights units.