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Stokely Carmichael

Freedom Summer: How Civil Rights Activists Braved Violence to Challenge Racism in 1964 Mississippi

http://www.democracynow.org - Hundreds of people marched in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Freedom Day. On Jan. 22, 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer and other civil rights activists marched around the Forrest County Courthouse in support of black voting rights. The rally was the beginning of a historic year in Mississippi. Months later civil rights groups launched Freedom Summer. More than 1,000 out-of-state volunteers traveled to Mississippi to help register voters and set up what they called, “Freedom Schools.” Out of Freedom Summer grew the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that challenged the legitimacy of the white-only Mississippi Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. The period also saw the murders of three civil rights activists — Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney. Events are being held across Mississippi in 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of this historic year. We are joined by Stanley Nelson, director of the new documentary, “Freedom Summer.” An Emmy Award-winning MacArthur Genius fellow, Nelson’s past films include “Freedom Riders” and “The Murder of Emmett Till.”

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Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Leaders of the march]

Many dont know that MLK’s speech was one of many here are the leaders of the march on washington: many faces unknown or forgotten, and tons of other (women, and those who weren’t normatively male) would not be listed

 Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Leaders of the march (from left to right) Mathew Ahmann, Executive Director of the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice; (seated with glasses) Cleveland Robinson, Chairman of the Demonstration Committee; (standing behind the two chairs) Rabbi Joachim Prinz, President of the American Jewish Congress; (beside Robinson is) A. Philip Randolph, organizer of the demonstration, veteran labor leader who helped to found the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, American Federation of Labor (AFL), and a former vice president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); (wearing a bow tie and standing beside Prinz is) Joseph Rauh, Jr, a Washington, DC attorney and civil rights, peace, and union activist; John Lewis, Chairman, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; and Floyd McKissick, National Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality.]

The Activism Files

We discussed Mao’s program, Cuba’s program, and all the others, but concluded that we could not follow any of them. Our unique situation required a unique program. Although the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed is universal, forms of oppression vary. The ideas that mobilised the people of Cuba and China sprang from their own history and political structures. The practical parts of those programs could be carried out only under a certain kind of oppression. Our program had to deal with America
Huey Newton speaking about the creation of the Black Panther Party
We have to build our own power. We have to win every single political office we can, where we have a majority of black people… The question for black people is not, when is the white man going to give us our rights, or when is he going to give us good education for our children, or when is he going to give us jobs—if the white man gives you anything—just remember when he gets ready he will take it right back. We have to take for ourselves.
- Fannie Lou Hamer, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party30
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