Freedom Summer Essay Thesis

1692 Words 7 Pages
Freedom Summer, just a mere 10 weeks of the summer of 1964, changed the world, just by changing Mississippi. Reconstruction ended and blacks were no longer slaves, but they continued to be oppressed. Mississippi was the state that kept blacks as slaves without the title. Mississippi had the lowest crime rate, supposedly, but most likely had the most murders of blacks in cold blood. The Mississippi Summer Project dived head first into the volatile violence, subjecting their volunteers to a unique movement with dangers that scared and motivated them to make their movement as successful as they could.
Freedom Summer emerged, primarily, because of Bob Moses. Bob Moses became involved in civil rights early on with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
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One volunteer, Fran O’Brien who sent in her application for Freedom Summer stood out, she compared what was happening in Mississippi to what had happened just a few decades prior in Europe under Hitler’s rule. She did not want to say she did nothing (Watson, 131). Motivation also came in the form of hate from the whites in Mississippi, if they were reacting in such a volatile way that meant they had to be doing something right for those oppressed. Volunteers looked forward to the day that MLK had spoken in his “I Have a Dream” speech, and when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act, that day seemed more in reach. With each step America would take, Mississippi would take a baby step in the right direction as well. What really motivated the participants however probably was the same thing that started on the first day of Freedom Summer: Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman. They disappeared on the first night, that fact alone scared the rest of volunteers, and Freedom Summer took on more of a meaning, it was a way to avenge the assumable deaths of the three volunteers. Once their bodies were found and an investigation launched that led to questioning of white men, participants saw how much of a difference the summer has made. Prior to the summer that changed Mississippi, a man could be brutally killed in plain view and the killer was ‘not guilty’ (Watson,

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