Freedom Summer

Photo from the Frank Church Collection in Boise State University, Albertsons Library’s Special Collections

Idaho Senator, Frank Church, advises then President Lyndon Johnson during the creation of the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1965. This bill was conceived in response to demonstrations and violent reprisals against demonstrators throughout the South 
during the early sixties.

The summer before the bill was signed into law more than 700 university students, black and white, journeyed to Mississippi to assist the locals in registering to vote. It was thought by the organizers, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), that the participation of these students would draw greater attention to the lack of not only voting rights, but the general poor standard of living of the black citizens of Mississippi. Within a day of the students’ arrival, three of them went missing. Their bodies were not found for six months. This time in American history is known as Freedom Summer.

An American Experience documentary on Freedom Summer recently premiered on PBS. You can still watch it online http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/freedomsummer/ or learn more about this momentous time in American History through a number of resources at Albertsons Library including:

The print book Freedom Summer by Doug McAdam looks at the impact of Freedom Summer on volunteers’ political, professional and personal lives

John Dittmer’s Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi examines the experiences of the local black communities during Freedom Summer and beyond 

Another print book, Faces of Freedom Summer, presents the event from the viewpoint of photographer Herbert Eugene Randall, who documented the experience

The ebook, After Freedom Summer, examines how the event changed the political landscape of Mississippi http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/757826249

The video Freedom Summer, produced by A&E, is available online in a streaming format http://boisestate.worldcat.org/oclc/677927121

This blog post is the first in a series, produced in coordination with the celebration of Albertsons Library’s 50th Anniversary.
Elizabeth Ramsey,
Assistant professor, Librarian

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