|A replication of a pin made by the SNCC for the civil rights movement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Freedom Schools, An Informal History | Solidarity: "LATELY THERE HAS been renewed interest in the Mississippi Freedom Schools. People are thinking about reviving "freedom schooling." They invoke what happened in the summer of 1964 as hoped-for authority.
I was the director or coordinator of those Mississippi Freedom Schools. Since there were 41 Freedom Schools(1) and more than 2,000 students, of course I can't know all that went on." ....
When Bob Moses began to organize in McComb, Mississippi in the summer of 1961, he and others in SNCC set up classes to prepare people to register to vote. After a number of African-American students were expelled from the local high school, SNCC created "Nonviolent High" to instruct them in subjects they were missing.
The venture ended when (in Daniel Perlstein's words) "much of the McComb staff was jailed for contributing to the delinquency of minors."(2) A number of students moved to other communities to continue their schooling. ....
But that is not the whole story. Years later, as a law student, I came upon the case of Burnside v. Byars, 363 F.2d 744 (5th Cir. 1966). There I learned that in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney had been killed, Black students returned to public schools wearing buttons that said "SNCC" and "One Man, One Vote."
They were sent home but the federal court found that their activity was protected by the First Amendment. This was the precedent later relied on by the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold the First Amendment right of a young woman named Tucker to wear a black arm band in her Iowa school to protest the Vietnam war.
|Unita Blackwell was the first Black female mayor of Mississippi. |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Unita Blackwell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Blackwell's son and approximately 50 other children boycotted the school, because of its decision to not let the children wear the SNCC freedom pins. As a result, Blackwell and some other activists in the community decided that it was vital to school those children. She helped open freedom schools in Issaquena County, to resolve the issue. The schools became popular and continued to teach classes every summer until 1970, when the local schools finally desegregated."
Student Activism in Detroit