AFI Docs QA notes: “Freedom Summer” documents the voter registration volunteer effort in Mississippi in 1964, resulting in tragedy

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AFI Silverdocs presented “Freedom Summer”, directed by Stanley Nelson, a film giving the history of the Freedom Summer volunteers who went down to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 to teach black voters how to overcome the state’s system designed to keep them away from the polls.  The violence in the area was shocking, and predicated on the fear among white families that property could be taken away from them if blacks got in office.  In fact, now Mississippu has the highest percentage of African Americans in office in any state.

The newspapers reported the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

On Sunday, June 22, 2014,  at the 4:15 PM showing at the Naval Archive in downtown Washington DC, The QA included five people, now in their 70s, who had volunteered that summer.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6


Part 7: One of the former volunteers notes that Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner did not voluntarily sacrifice their lives; they did not intend to be martyrs; “Their lives were taken”:

The film will air in the PBS American Experience series Tuesday June 24, 2014 on most PBS stations.

(Published: Monday, June 24, 2014, at 12:15 PM)

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