tv 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi CSPAN April 9, 2017 6:50pm-8:01pm EDT
it was a lonely spot to be in, to be the only woman and taking these stands that put her at odds with other people. >> on lectures in history, the anderson university professor teaches a class about freedom summer, the 1954 black voters registration project in mississippi. he talks about the efforts of toders like rob moses include white volunteers in order to bring media attention to mississippi. his classes about one hour and 10 minutes. >> j, we are going to continue our walk through the civil rights movement in the early to mid 60's. we have already talked about the revival of the civil rights movement with the revival of the citizen movement. galvanized the movement once again, moving,
it was college students who get the movement rolling again. arehe point where there tens of thousands of people involved and we see that rules and with the freedom rides we see that continuing to roll and commentating in the march on washington in 1963 and then the gigantic, heavy, media drenched demonstrations where martin luther king writes the eloquent letter from a birmingham jail that you all read. but we are going to do today is take a step back. what's happening between 1961 after snake was created. after the sit in movement, they were involved in the freedom rides. it that they are doing?
what they are going to do is plan and execute one of the most code ofs civil rights demonstrations to one of the most incredible civil rights events of the era and that's going to take place, they call it the mississippi summer project. colloquially, it becomes known as freedom summer. we will see a large freedom summer in 1964 and they will do another in 1965. but why freedom summer? what leads sncc and field secretary of moses to focus on mississippi? that's the focal point of the freedom summer efforts. what was snake doing leading up to that summer that changed everything?
freedom summer, the summer of 64 is going to be a watershed moment in the civil rights movement. nothing will be the same. everything will change. what leads them up to this point? after the freedom rides were over, the kennedy administration to do encouraged snake something that would not be as confrontational as the freedom rides. what i think the kennedy administration did not realize was there was nothing more threatening to white supremacist self and the voter registration of african-americans. but there was a large motor registration drive going. you read the sources. you know african-americans are of the of the system united states government.
madison.k to james what was the lesson we took away from madison's lynching in the heartland? >> if you try to go, you basically get sanctioned? >> there's a tremendous amount of violence that surrounds the african american community. what was that about? >> [inaudible] >> the rape of mary ball. that's right. white supremacist fears get stoked by the specter of black men raping a white women and by all the team and this changes going on in the early 20th spread this climate
of fear and this notion that law enforcement was not doing enough. remember, what is white supremacy like in the north and the south? was it like to negotiate? we see this throughout madison's book -- negotiate even in the northern states. it's not typically talked about. isember how difficult it from community to community that the standards are different. where do you eat? where do you sleep? remember what happened to professional nba players? go ahead. service evendenied though everyone knew that.
>> they were given the keys to the city of marion and they were denied service for a hamburger. we know this is the reality america confronts. we know it affects both the north and south. ,emember, in the north african-americans can vote and that's a huge distinction. that is the symbol sncc decides to go after in mississippi. the voter education project was started in 1961 and was rant funded. they went through 1963 and a number of civil rights organizations were involved. the naacp and urban league, they andall involved with this it came from an 870,000 dollars grant. itically, sncc does what always did -- it's staffed by young people. they went to one of the most dangerous, challenging places they could find and in 1961,
that was the state of mississippi. a great picture of james forman sitting in a southern jail. why mississippi? you know why mississippi because you read "coming of age in mississippi." you know why mississippi. mississippi is black, rural and poor. 56% of mississippi blacks lived in rural areas as opposed to 39% . nonwhite family income in mississippi was $1444. that was the lowest in the country. 86% of all white families were below the federal poverty line. every nonwhite family was below the poverty line.
in 1960, years of education, six years. only 7% completed high school. and $.77pi spent $21 per black people. for white pupils in 19 624. the infant mortality rate was nearly 250% higher than the national average for whites. families asck opposed to white families outside of mississippi. mississippity of theessor rubbed his state close society due to its incredible and almost monolithic theort of segregation and protection of a system that denied african-americans the right to vote. the history of
vigilante violence that is mississippi. jump act ii coming-of-age mississippi. what are some examples of that book? or without. >> [inaudible] friend jerry was beaten. >> he was beaten because he was supposedly making phone calls to white women. they beat him and left him naked and unconscious at the side of the road. that was a rumor. we know the entire house was burnt down and everyone was killed. the rumor was it was quite retribution for a black man sleeping with a white woman. a history of violence. what happens to an movie when she >> wasn't her family threatened?
prof. shrock: she could not go home. the sheriff knew she was there. mom wrote letter after letter, do not come home. history of violence. as nathan pointed out, the famous case of till. you read the data. this becomes a national sensation. 14-year-old emmett till visiting from chicago, whistled at a white woman. he was rude. by southern standards, by midwestern standards, definitely rude. mississippi in the 1950's delivers a death sentence. till in life and in death.
that is why sncc chooses mississippi. they will chip away the white supremacy. look at the pictures. i just want you to look at the pictures. we have bob moses, 60-year-old secretary, one of the most important people to come to mississippi. bob will lead efforts in mississippi through 1964. he is going to join with amzie moore, world war ii veteran, and they are going to start planning a voter registration drive in 1961. what does this picture tell you? he was a veteran in world war ii. why is that important? nathan? why is that important?
>> because the veterans were the ones that were really going for to change because they thought why fight for change outside of the u.s. and then come back and still be? prof. shrock: absolutely right. world war ii was the pace of social change. we had some vets coming back that were not content to live in the jim crow south anymore. moore was one of them. that connection to world war ii, social change. here we have an older activist joining with a younger activist. he was in the late 20's at the time. they join together to push for social change in the state of mississippi. we know this does not come easily. they start working well before the grant money comes. in fact, they start working to register voters in 1961.
herbert lee joins moses. september 25, 1961, mississippi state legislator e.h. hurst confronted lee, shot him in the head in brought a light, killed him in front of dozens of witnesses. as you have seen time and time again, in the segregationist south in the 1950's and 1960's, hurst completely exonerated. black witnesses to the event were so afraid they were going to be killed, they lied. lewis allen what eventually tell his story to organizers who begged him to come forward. he was so scared, he was planning on leaving mississippi and he was murdered the night before he left the state.
herbert lee's widow at the funeral blamed bob moses for her husband's death. that might have stopped other people, but it does not ever stop sncc. they know the sacrifices of these people will hopefully lead to something. they officially opened their voter registration school august 7, 1962. immediately, the closed society response. they opened on august 7, three days later, shots were fired when somebody tried to register to vote. as you know, because you read anne moody, the arrests begin by law enforcement beatings, intimidation from officials, police. white crowds threatening them,
beating people trying to register to vote becomes the norm. night riders attack freedom houses. shoot up and burn offices and homes that support the voter registration drive. six staffers, who are white and black, suffered from stress and beatings. remember what anne moody said? she couldn't sleep, her hair was falling out. in 1963, the voter registration project did not continue funding for mississippi because the checks stop coming. black voting in mississippi went from 5.3% to 6.7% -- that is it. that is what they got for two years of beatings and arrests, shootings and threats. on page 113, the struggle for black equality, this violence went unnoticed by the nation and unhindered by the federal
how does bob moses respond? this is where we are going to pick up. please go to page 157. sitkoff, the struggle for black equality. why does bob moses resurrect the council of federated organizations? you should know this. cofo was created and becomes the umbrella group for freedom summer. it is dominated by sncc. sncc provide all the staffing for it. core is involved and the naacp is, but it is primarily a sncc operation. why does bob moses bring it back? he becomes the main director but is technically the codirector. what is moses trying to accomplish?
go ahead, caleb. >> proving that blacks do want to vote. prof. shrock: that is right. how does he accomplish this? nathan, go ahead. >> by a -- i'm pretty sure it was a false voting campaign to find out how many people wanted to vote but couldn't anyway. prof. shrock: how many people voted in the freedom election of 1963? just shout out the number. how many? 80,000 people voted. that is a clear demonstration that there are people in mississippi that want to vote.
bob moses learned a really important lesson when he was working during the freedom election. at first, bob moses was opposed to bringing in white volunteers, but civil rights attorney suggested the white volunteers be brought in. some 60 students from yale and harvard who were white were brought in. what does this do for freedom election? what does moses realize happen when those students from elite university show up? it brings national attention to the movement. what else? what does attention mean? right, because who is there? who is paying attention? right. the media. african-americans in mississippi for years.
nobody paid attention in the national press. it was very frustrating for the civil rights movement. herbert lee's death did not make the national press. when those students came down, bob moses saw the opportunity here. the press followed those students. with these lessons in mind, with all of the levels of violence we have seen in mississippi already that bob moses experiences for three years, moses decides that the way to craft mississippi was the bring in 1000 white, young, student volunteers to work on voter registration and other civil rights activities in the summer of 1964. he proposes this plan to cofo. how do the members of cofo, primarily sncc and core that members, how do they respond initially to this request from moses to bring in 1000 young white volunteers? caleb, what was their response?
been the majority. there was concern of bringing in this many white volunteers to come out and their fears were will founded because it has a lasting impact with significant structural change. initially, the staff members vote no. this illustrates the important and the ability to bob moses had. he says he is not interested in being a move -- being in a movement that is not interracial. dave dennis will be chosen as his codirector. where have we seen dave dennis? nathan, where have we seen dave dennis? he's in coming of age in mississippi. he was one of the core staff members in mississippi with anne moody. that is the dave she refers to
constantly. dave dennis played a very important role and you have seen him already. he becomes codirector. they also get aaron henry to be the president. henry had been associated with the civil rights movement in mississippi for a long time. he was older, he was a pharmacist. he really represented a different strata that bob moses tried to connect with to make freedom summer successful. listen to what dave dennis said. it is on 159 in the middle of the second paragraph. "they know that the threat of violence to these young people will bring media attention. that's cold, but that was also in another sense speaking the
language of the country. what we were trying to do was get a message over to the country so we spoke their language. we made sure we have the children of some very powerful people in this country over there. we didn't plan on any of this violence, but we wanted the country to respond to what was going on." nathan? >> the presence of white volunteers would guarantee federal protection? prof. shrock: that was the hope. it turns out it doesn't. it does get the attention of the federal government dramatically. the amazing thing about all of this is as this is going on, some other tremendous event that is happening in summer of 1964 and that is the signing of the civil rights act, which in the long run, coupled with what will come a year later, the voting
rights act, will fundamentally tear down jim crow segregation and voting restrictions in the south. when you are in the middle of the movement, you don't see its impact. do you think the passage of the civil rights act made civil rights workers feel safer? it didn't change anything. they are still getting threatened. that is the amazing backdrop of that is the amazing backdrop of what is happening throughout freedom summer. but they know that bringing 1000 white volunteers is going to bring the media. they were 100% right. how does mississippi prepare for this invasion? check out the bottom of page 159 and 160. what does mississippi do? how do they get ready for this invasion by outside agitators?
jessica, let's jump over to the other side. >> they set up a makeshift prison. prof. shrock: that is right. they get ready. the state legislature doubles the highway patrol. a resurgence of the mississippi kkk. we know there were more than 60 crosses burned -- crosses were burned in more than 60 counties. jackson expands their police force by a third, they purchase extra shotguns, tear gas. a six ton armored vehicle. it is not actually a tank, but when you see the volunteers heading to mississippi, you will realize the amount of overkill. the people invading mississippi
were people just like you. mississippi was preparing as if a horde of cuban communists were landing in mississippi. >> [inaudible] prof. shrock: they were aware. everybody was well aware of what was happening. the federal government was busy wishing it did not occur. j. edgar hoover was busy assuring the civil rights movement will not -- he was dubious about the civil rights movement anyway. he was busy trying to undermine martin luther king, jr. by bugging his rooms and sending out letters to prominent senators that he was a communist. the fbi was consul he trying to discredit king. they will not do the job to protect the civil rights act.
as you can well imagine, the civil rights movement in mississippi's violence escalates even leading up to freedom summer. no volunteers yet and violence escalates. beatings, shootings, threats. not to mention the mississippi sovereignty commission is busy at work. this was created by the state legislature of mississippi -- i don't know what to compare it to -- it was like mississippi's version of the kgb. they worked to undermind civil rights movement -- they had informants inside. they called them informant x and informant y. x and y fed them information the whole summer. we know they had them there. they kept phones throughout mississippi. when civil rights workers were concerned the phones were tapped -- they were tapped.
you are not paranoid if somebody is really out to get you. the sovereignty commission convinced newspaper editors to plant false stories and not true ones. remember, it is a closed society. so, cofo prepares. they areprepare and going to bring more than 1000 primarily-white volunteers into mississippi and that summer. as you can see, they will have training. , about a third of the
volunteers show up. week-long be two one and there areons 550 students who get trained their. they will be trained in ohio. small collegea for women. it would be absorbed by miami go to oxford, you can still go over there. where youan archive can research freedom summer. they had tried to do the training and the pressure for
alumnis made them pull out. they had hoped for western college -- i had hoped for western college. i was hoping that there would be a philosophical connection or support for the civil rights movement. this was an economic exchange. money andd rental this was an economic decision made for this training session that occurred here at the college. so, just go to this text. when you are looking at this, what kind of volunteers are going to show up for this training? what is the demographic. this gives us a little information here. caleb?
>> young, liberal whites at top-tier universities. joel: that is right. we are primarily getting more liberal students. at vast majority are white, many coming from the northeast, the west coast, the midwest, from elite, public and private institutions. the volunteers, 90% of them are white. most are middle-class. in fact, if we look at douglas adams' fantastic book, "freedom summer," he did a study of the volunteers, a fantastic book. if you want to dig into freedom summer, you need to dig into doug mcadams. they came from wealthier families than is typical in the united states. families that made more than the average family, relatively privileged backgrounds. primarily white, primarily middle-class. 62% are men, 38% are women.
and their average age was 21. the youngest volunteer was 19. anybody here younger than 19? these people are you. just like you, in many ways. the training, 500 50 volunteers trained in 21-week sessions. the first week was focused on voter registration. the second week, they had a simple goals. they wanted to create freedom houses over the state of mississippi.
we know cofo and sncc already did this. anne moody was in freedom houses, but they were dangerous places to be. if you were there a long time, the odds someone would come by and issued the house or burn it down are very high. what happened when anne moody and her friends were at that freedom house in canton? who comes home? >> white guys in a truck with guns. joel: a relatively large group of a drunk white guys in a truck with guns. luckily they did not have dogs.
because anne moody and her friends hid in the tall grass behind the house. who knows what might have happened that night. freedom houses, moses thought of them as the civil rights equivalent of the peace corps. we will sit down these bastions of civil rights activity in the middle of the segregationist, rural mississippi south, and from there, we will move our activities out. we will register voters, set up schools with a call freedom schools, they are going to organize direct action protests, community centers. all of these things will happen as these volunteers move into the city. but what are the tactics of sncc? they maintain their commitment to nonviolence, direct action. you know many of those staffers are beginning to question, remember anne moody after the bombing? nonviolence might be out. they continue to use it for the summer of 1964, but you can only be threatened and beaten and jailed and to see people killed for so long before you begin to question the validity of the tactic. so what is the training? this is a great picture from the training session. what are they doing? you know what they're doing,
right? caleb? as he just said, they are practicing nonviolence. but what do you do when you practice nonviolence? >> you try not to hit back. joel: that is right, and look at what they are doing. how do you protect yourself? when you are surrounded by a crowd, how do you protect yourself? look at what is happening on the ground. >> you curl up and protect your face and head. joel: that is right. look at this, on the ground, knees tucked, arms over your head, protect your next, head, face, chest. women, they will try to stomp on your breasts, kicking men and women in the genitals, you have to hook your limbs together. look at those crazy outside agitators.
don't they look awful? all those well-dressed, polite students watching this nonviolent demonstration. suddenly, there are all of these black, mainly black, staff members telling them about the beatings, the shootings. and they say, this is what you have to do when the mob comes for you. remember bob zellner tried to pull his eyeball out. those are the stories being told. >> they all look kind of happy. do you think they understood exactly what they were getting into? joel: not at all.
and that is what angered the staff members and they responded very aggressively. in fact some of the volunteers were taken aback at how aggressive the staff members were with them, and they got angry. one night they had what we would call a come to jesus meeting, where they try to hash out the differences because they could not understand the level of hate and violence they were going to encounter from the worst that mississippi had to offer. let's once against say -- again say, mississippi would go to one of the most remarkable changes any state would go through in the years since this occurred. more black politicians are elected out of mississippi than any other state. but we have to be honest about the situation in mississippi in 1954. you had a question? >> on many of the volunteers and that showed up were blacks from the north? joel: very few. 90% of the volunteers were white.
about 10% were black. it was a small percentage. they did that on purpose. they wanted white, elite kids with white, elite parents at home putting pressure on the federal government to do something to protect them. >> all the staffers you talked about that would put the new people through this stuff, had they been doing this for a while? joel: absolutely. almost all of them are like anne moody. this is where anne moody is by 1964. she is already a little jaded. remember how her book ended? it ended just as freedom summer was starting and everyone was excited, we are going to change the world, right anne moody? her last words were, i really wonder. so yes, all of anne moody's books and all the terrible things that happened to her happened right before here. a person like anne was not
there, but they are coming to teach these white people that look like they are clapping and smiling while this is going on. it is a very difficult thing to help them understand the reality of what is going to happen. here is just another shot at where they are trying to work on this. you can see they are trying to demonstrate. how do you protect yourself when the mob comes? this is dorie lander. i love that picture, so i included it. remember nick, men, women, black, white, an organization devoted to this tactic at this point. here is another great shot from the training. we can see a sncc staff member. here is james forman. and, all volunteer you probably do not recognize. that is andrew goodman.
andrew goodman is going to become very, very important in about five minutes when we talk about what is going to happen to the volunteers in mississippi. he is a volunteer from new york. music, very important to the civil rights music. we talked about it a lot, but have not heard a lot. we will spend a day listening to civil rights music to read we will have almost a whole class session devoted to civil rights tunes. i may force you to sing along a little bit. is there a problem with that? music was very important to the civil rights movement. here is a great picture of staunton lynn, very famous
historian and lawyer, worked for leftist causes, heavily involved in the civil rights movement. his parents did the famous study of muncie, indiana and middletown. he was their child. this is then the second week of working with those freedom school teachers headed to mississippi in the second week. really interesting. john doerr, the assistant attorney general, came and spoke to the volunteers. there he is right there. do you recognize him? where is he from? that is right, he was working with the kennedys. you remember what happened in jackson -- the funeral happens, we have what looks to be a riot forming. who are the people that helped stop that riot?
john doar. the mississippi law enforcement with batons, and a lot of angry black people. who is with them? we have people who are here, getting ready to stop this massive riots and they did. and john doar shows up. what will you do -- they were worried about getting killed. john's response, nothing. there is no federal police force. the responsibility for protection is the local police, that is just the proof. the fbi is not a police agency. they do not have the authority.
federalism, the separation of powers. it is the duty of the state of mississippi and those counties and cities to protect them. the volunteers do not like this and they boo. they say we do not do that, do not boo him. what effect does that have on you as a white volunteer when they tell you there is no federal protection? not going to happen. >> i feel like i would not want to do it anymore. joel: right. people could die here. the amazing thing is, most people do not go home, the vast majority continue on. the vast majority. right before they leave, everybody gets together and they do what they always do in the civil rights movement. they sing some songs and that link some arms.
i want you to look at these pictures. look. i am just telling you, the moment where you have black and white together with their arms linked, singing songs, is a rare moment in america, 1964. this may not look strange to you in 2016, but in 1964, this was. you have read all the sources. you have read about the lynchings, you know how rare this is. this really is a declaration of the intent of the civil rights movement, integration. ok. check out page 161. less than 24 hours after the first group left for oxford, ohio, three people disappeared in mississippi. the second wave of volunteers is
there in oxford ohio at western college for women, and they heard the news. core staff member michael nikki schwerner, james chaney, and volunteer andrew goodman disappeared. they went to investigate the burning of a church in mississippi. they were not seen again. what happens to schwerner, chaney and goodman less than 24 hours after they left mississippi? >> [indiscernible] they were found it at eight deserted road.
joel: they were murdered 24 hours after leaving oxford, ohio. nobody in ohio knows that, no one in mississippi knows that. people in mississippi said they ran off, they are in new orleans or atlanta having a good time, no one in mississippi would kill them. nathan? >> if they are not back by 4:00 p.m., they should check all the jails and sheriff's office, police station, hospital. joel: right, standard operating procedure in mississippi. if you are not backed by 4:00, are they in the hospital, are they in the ditch somewhere? check with everyone and make sure they are safe.
they know being out in the dark in rural mississippi, it is a dangerous place to be. what does bob moses tell everyone in oxford, ohio who is there? it is the second training group, the school teachers. go ahead, caleb. >> kids are dead. joel: kids are dead. once again, we are confronted with the ugly reality of mississippi. >> i find it interesting they say the two white guys were only shot, while chaney was beaten and then shot multiple times. joel: that is right, he was beaten. you will note if you look at the bottom of page 163, michael schwerner's wife said, we know this search is because my husband and andrew goodman are white. if only chaney was involved,
nothing would have been done. they have been murders in mississippi for years and nothing had been done. but now something was being done. a sort of cynical position that aims you more, that violence to whites would bring media attention actually proves to be true. freedom summer goes on. it continues. the wave of volunteers headed to mississippi, they do what they were there to do. these are just some fantastic pictures. i love the symmetry of the volunteers sitting on top of a mailbox, writing a letter. we have a cofo youth coordinator, doug smith, gracie hawthorne, and a volunteer. he is writing a letter home.
this was a great piece that was put out by cofo during this period and sent out to people they were working with about what they would be doing. this piece of literature is perfect. you can see here they are talking about setting up freedom schools, voter registration, community centers. and these will be schools where high school students will be able to talk about things they cannot talk about a regular high school. they will learn about civil rights. you already know what high school is like in mississippi because you read anne moody's "coming of age in mississippi." dear member what happened to mrs. rice? >> she probably got fired. joel: she probably got fired, that is what happens when you talk about the civil rights
movement too much. they are going to set up freedom schools, work on voter registration. if we were all voting, things would be better in mississippi. we would have enough food, more jobs, better schools, better houses, paved sidewalks. because they would be able to participate in the democratic process, that really makes america what it is. and community centers, a place where everyone can do many different things. it will be for adults primarily and offer many chances for them to learn things that help them live better. job training, classes for people who cannot read. classes on child care, health programs, adult education and negro history classes. that is what community centers are for. they are creating institutions
to combat the endemic, deeply held twice a premises to belief. institutions will help them confronted that system, that closed society. voter registration is key. one of the things they really focus on. volunteers go out and they are working with many of the sharecroppers, to talk to the african-american community and try to get them to vote. direct action and ministrations were really important. check out this picture. there they are coming having a demonstration on voter
registration. and what is happening with our friends here? who is this? it could be a postman, but there is evidence it is not. look really closely. he has a gun. you know a lot of postman that carry guns? so what is this, probably? probably a police officer. so what is he doing? he is taking a picture. why would a policeman take a picture of a civil rights demonstration? think back to anne moody, now. caleb. >> [indiscernible] joel: so they know who it is who is demonstrating. they want a record of it. remember when police took anne's picture. notice what the black folks are doing when the cop takes the picture? they are all looking away. everyone is turning to the side. this is a way that police often try to intimidate black americans who are trying to vote. freedom schools, just a great
shot. look at the books, the kids that are engaged in reading. there is a volunteer. this is one of the freedom houses in rural mississippi. they put them wherever they could put them. but as you can imagine, in spite of the media blitz in mississippi, violence ensued. you know what happened, you knew it was inevitable, and it is going to happen. here is a actor of someone new is a volunteer. he was not one of the youthful volunteers, there were a number of ministers and rabbis that came to help and this is rabbi lelyveld, he was beaten with a tire iron. i really wish i had this picture in color, because the blood soaked the entire front of his
sure there. large-scale violence ensued, despite massive media coverage of all this happening. with the disappearance of schwerner, chany and goodman, the media descends upon mississippi but it does not protect them. 80 volunteers beaten, over 1000 arrested. 67 churches, homes, businesses burned or bombed. this is just one state in one summer. shots were fired at 30 people and we know there were six known murders, six. people were dying. people are dying so people can vote. people are dying so that people can eat in a restaurant. people are dying to do things
that we so take for granted. think about the things they want to do and look at the level of violence that is leveled against them. during the search for schwerner, chaney and goodman, and there was pressure, president lyndon johnson, hoover, and there was a massive hunt for them that when all summer long. the fbi worked sources and sources and sources. in case you ever saw "mississippi burning," ignore that because it is inaccurate. the fbi figured it out through good old-fashioned police work. there was no mafioso threatening people with guns. they eventually find a source and the police highway patrol meant that gives them the information that leads them there. guess what they find when they are dragging rivers in mississippi? they found eight other bodies of black people. eight. not one or 2, 8.
and identified 3, 1 was a 14-year-old. they found his body, he was wearing a core t-shirt. they found charles moore, hezekiah dean, and five other bodies were never identified. nathan? >> didn't civil rights activists keep identification on them in case they were found? joel: yes, they did, they try to do that. but if you get thrown in a river, those things often disappear. there had been no national outcry or search for any of these missing civil rights people or those missing eight people. this tells us read a schwerner was right. the national media attention
came with the death of white people. that is what america was like in 1954 and that is the reality. we have six known murders. one of the most interesting stories involves sidney poitier. there are number of great details. it is fantastic. harry belafonte was a famous singer. he was also a civil rights activist. sidney poitier was a famous actor. they had raised $60,000, but he
did not trust wire transfer to mississippi. he decided to take $60,000 in cash to a bag and fly out to greenwood, mississippi and deliver the money in person. he convinces sidney poitier to go with him. they were both very nervous about this because they knew what was going on in mississippi. but they fly down there and are met at the airport. they were met by james forman. and, three cars full of civil rights activists. they are put in the center car to protect them. and they take off. three cars in a caravan. belafonte and poitier see there are other cars following them and they thought they were protected.
but no, that was the klan, which it chased them to the city of greenwood. protecting -- the cars were protecting sidney poitier and harry belafonte, the whole way. the klan did not give up until they got to greenwood. poitier and belafonte delivered the money, and they were guarded by men with shotguns. the next morning they flew immediately back to safety. i tell you this little anecdote to show, freedom summer is not happening in pittsburgh. there are things that are connected to the bigger elements to 1964. it is the story of 1964.
anybody ever heard of freedom summer before you took this class? quite a few of you. did you hear about it from my other class? who heard about it from my other class? but freedom summer was a huge his story in 1964. but it is not as well-known because what will happen after 1964? vietnam comes and blows everything away when it comes to our thinking of the 1960's. but that will really not start for another few years. freedom summer is very much connected to what is happening nationally and what is going on throughout the country. back to schwerner, chaney, and goodman. we know the police were involved in this. that is the county sheriff. we know these people were arrested, we know the police were complicit.
they were pulled over on their way out of town and night. we know the klan grabs them, the local white knights of the ku klux klan. we knew it took a 44 day fbi search to find them. the state of mississippi refused, and the county refused to process it. so federal prosecutor, our friend john doar charged 18 men, including a sheriff deputy share, with denying the sncc activists of their rights. after years of challenges, seven men were found guilty in october 20, 1967. deputy sheriff cecil price, kkk imperial wizard sam bowers, alton wayne roberts, jimmy snowden, billey wayne posey. the last person convicted in this case was 2005.
yes, your lifetime. when a grand jury convicted edgar killen of three counts of murder, he was sentenced to three consecutive twenty-year terms. he was 80 years old. there will be no more prosecutions from the mississippi burning case. just this summer, june, 2016, the cemetery there, the mississippi attorney general and the civil rights division of the justice department declared that the evidence has been degraded
by memory and time. there are no more individuals that we can make a case on at this point and they have close to the investigation into the murders of schwerner, chaney, and goodman. so what are the results of freedom summer? what happened? the civil rights movement will never be the same. sncc will never be the same. mississippi will never be the same. sncc leaves freedom summer more radicalized than ever. another summer of nonviolence, another summer of murders. at what point you begin to say, enough is enough? at what point do you turn to armed self-defense, which is a strong, strong element in american history? sncc staffers "the nonviolence
during freedom summer, and many begin to carry guns. this happened before, remember anne moody? they armed themselves to protect themselves from the knight riders. there is also glowing conflict in sncc between black and white members, particularly after 1000 white volunteers came in. what they feared would happen would happen. you have all these white volunteers, from privileged backgrounds, with excellent educations, rolling into mississippi, working with african-americans who frankly, have had very poor educations by design, by the state of mississippi. it is not that one's a native intelligence is better than the other, it is not that one is naturally better at things than
the other, it is that some of the volunteers were better at certain things that they needed to have done for the people they were working with, and this causes friction. a lot of the african-american staff members said we need to develop mississippi to pull themselves out of this. we cannot be saved by white outsiders. this clash will continue. it will snowball. and in the not so distant future, sncc will expel all of its white members. not there quite yet, but we are on the way. natural attention is drawn to the racism of mississippi. and, to the violence of african-americans. that is one of the good things that comes out of this. the civil rights movement, as we talked about, needed those white racist to respond violently to emotionally and ethically and morally connect with the rest of white america to force change, to force the federal government
to act. and they do so. another positive thing, it generates a strong civil rights movement in mississippi. they said, there was not much of eight civil rights movement in mississippi before. there was a broad one after the summer of 1964. and as doug mcadams points out, the volunteers will emerge from mississippi profoundly radicalized in both personal and political terms. profoundly radicalized. and these are young people living out into america in the mid-1960's. it is not an accident that all of these social protest movements will start after 1964 in the united states. it is a training ground for generation of young student leaders. mario savio led the free speech movement at berkeley, that was not an accident.
when you are trained to radically think differently about people's rights and their worth, you take that with you for the rest of your life. tom hayden, abbie hoffman, and many others, are all going to spend time in mississippi. they are all going to learn that the america they were raised with in the 1950's -- they were little kids in the 1950's. they were told all these platitudes about america. and they learned in the most terrible way, that those platitudes were not true for a broad segment of america. and they would rise up and challenge them. thank you for coming, everybody. i will see everybody next week. and we will talk tuesday about the class.
we will not have it tuesday, we will delay it a bit. thank you for coming, i will see you next week. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] american history television is on c-span. >> c-span it is where history unfolds daily. it was created as a public service and is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider.
next, the university of theinia scholar discusses traits that make a good president. she uses toward washington and lincoln as examples of click in kentucky posted this hour and 10 minute event. ladies andning ultimate, thank you all for coming out to be with us tonight. i would also like to thank those who are watching on c-span who are tuning in. servean honor for me to as mc for this program tonight. anight we not only have chance to think seriously about the american presidency and its requirements for one of the truly great
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