Freedom Summer After 50 Years: Looking Back & Looking Forward

Freedom Summer After 50 Years: Looking Back & Looking Forward

May 12‐13, 2014

“In many ways, the Mississippi Summer Project was a turning point for a whole generation of us. It was certainly the boldest, most dramatic, and traumatic single event of the entire movement. It certainly had the most far‐reaching effect: for national party politics, for that activist college generation, for the state of Mississippi and the movement there, and especially for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) as an organization. After the summer, none of those would be the same.”—Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael)

This two-­day symposium commemorated the 50th anniversary and explored the historic and contemporary meaning of the 1964 Freedom Summer Project, a campaign that took college students to Mississippi to support the on-­going struggle against white supremacy in that state.

May 12, 2014
“Until The Killing of Black Mothers’ Sons…”:  The Meaning of Freedom Summer

May 13, 2014
“Ask a Real Question”:  Freedom Schooling Over 50 Years

Discussion Leaders included:

Charles E. Cobb, Jr.: SNCC field secretary; author of  the proposal which led to SNCC’s Freedom Schools and of many books on the movement,  including the forthcoming, This Nonviolent Stuff Will Get You Killed. Visiting Professor of  Africana Studies, Brown University.

Fannie Rushing: Participant in 1963 Chicago school boycotts; Director of Chicago office of SNCC; Founder/teacher, Chicago Residential Freedom School;  Associate Professor of History, Benedictine University.

Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons: Freedom Summer volunteer and SNCC Project Director;  peace activist;  member of the Atlanta Project which helped develop the intellectual rationale for what became the Black Power movement.  Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Religion, University of Florida.

Co-­presented by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Institute of Politics, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.