Tag Archives: 1964

1964 Missisippi – a time for Revolution!

Revolution by Deborah Wiles
Published by Scholastic 5/27/2014

Revolution

In the summer of 1964, the headquarters for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and the Mississippi Freedom Project are located in Greenwood, Mississippi. The Mississippi Freedom Project is designed to education African-American children and adults and to conduct a voter registration drive. It is a summer of turmoil because white Mississippi takes offence of the Freedom Summer invaders and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Churches and crosses were burned, people were beaten and arrested, and three Freedom Summer workers were murdered. Revolution tells the story of upheaval in Greenwood, Mississippi during this summer through the eyes of Sunny a white girl, her step-brother Gillette, and Raymond an African-American boy.

Deborah Wiles once again stuns readers with a powerful story told not only through fictional characters, but through photographs, quotes, and lyrics which provide readers with a more thorough understanding of that summer. She cleverly inserts juxtapositions between the Freedom Workers’ invasion and the Beatles’ invasion and the US’s commitment to Vietnam with their lack of commitment to African-Americans in Mississippi to get us thinking. In addition, Ms Wiles superbly brings in crucial side stories about Bob Moses, LBJ, Muhammad Ali, and Wednesday’s Women & Dorothy Height which offers a deeper insight into the time period. Needless to say, we as readers are privileged to read this insightful story. Thank you Deborah!

WARNING: Readers of all ages may have a visceral reaction to pamphlets & flyers written by the KKK, the words of Governor Wallace, and communications from the town of Greenwood. Librarians, parents, and teachers – please use this opportunity for discussion about Civil Rights and the 14th amendment.

For older readers who’d like a more thorough account of the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner and subsequent lack of justice, I recommend The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell, published by Scholastic.


1964 – Freedom School in Mississippi

The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell
Published by Scholastic Press 4/29/2014

FreedomSummer

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.