This blog post features guest contributors Jordan Knight and Evelyn Tran, students in Dr. Margaret Fletcher’s Fall 2016 ENGL 1101 PACE class. To learn more about PACE, visit: http://clayton.edu/PACE.
In the News: Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle
On the 13th of September, the Clayton State Library Department presented the Freedom Summer film which is one of a five-part film series in the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle program. A large audience of students, professors, and community members were present to view the film, listen to the panel discussion, and participate in the open discussion which followed.
The film focuses on the struggles that African Americans had to endure during Freedom Summer of 1964 in Mississippi. During this time African Americans were oppressed by Jim Crow laws such as literacy tests and poll taxes which kept them from voting. Civil rights activists like Fannie Lou Hamer and Robert “Bob” Moses as well as civil rights organizations such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), began hosting voter registration drives and local sit-ins to protest the unequal exclusion of minorities in the democratic voting process.
If you would like to learn more about the events and people highlighted in the film or the discussion, we suggest the following resources:
http://clayton.libguides.com/CreatedEqual/FreedomSummer (Event covered at Clayton State University).
http://crdl.usg.edu/events/freedom_summer/ (Civil Rights Digital Library – Freedom Summer)
Throughout the summer of 1964, Freedom Schools were opened in black communities to provide a richer educational experience than was offered in Mississippi public schools. African American children learned of their own heritage and the heroes such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass who fought for freedom and equal rights. In addition they improved their basic skills such as reading and writing, which enabled them to better understand the historical movement that was taking place. These schools allowed them to gain the knowledge and courage to become a force for change in their local communities. Some further readings on Freedom Schools include the following sources:
http://www.educationanddemocracy.org/ED_FSC.html (Freedom School Curriculum website)
Adickes, S. (2005). Legacy of a Freedom School. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Electronic book available through GALILEO*
Emery, K. (2007). The lessons of Freedom Summer. Race, Poverty and the Environment, 14(2), 20-22. Available via JSTOR* or online open access.
Emery, K., Gold, L.R., and Braselman, S. (2008). Lessons from Freedom Summer: Ordinary people building extraordinary movements. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press. Available via InterLibrary Loan request.
From the achievements, the suffering, and the determination of civil rights activists during Freedom Summer, the Civil Rights Movement grew, and ultimately the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 radically changed the South to legally eliminate Jim Crow laws.
If you would like to learn more information about the influence and impact of Freedom Summer (1964), the Clayton State Library suggests the following resources:
Burrows, N., Helton, L.E., Levy, L.B., and McDowell, D.E. (2014). Freedom Summer and its legacies in the classroom. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 155-172.*
Edmonds, M. and Haller, S. (2014). Images from Freedom Summer, 1964. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 51-63.*
McDaniel, H. N. (2016). Growing up civil rights: Youth voices from Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. The Southern Quarterly, 53, 94-107.*
Norman, B. (2014). What are all these bodies doing in the River? Freedom Summer and the cultural imagination. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 173-178.*
Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle was made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
For more information about the Created Equal program, please visit: http://createdequal.neh.gov.
We invite you to look forward to the upcoming A Place for All People poster exhibit which will be presented at Clayton State University Library in 2017. This artistic presentation will celebrate the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture by displaying A Place for All People, an exhibit of posters that exhibit the African American story through images of “pain and glory, power and civility, enslavement and freedom.” For more information about the future event, please visit the following link: www.sites.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibits/AfricanAmericanPosters/index.htm and stay tuned to the Clayton State Library blog.