The Forgotten Story of the Freedom Schools

Fifty years ago, students in the American South boycotted their classrooms and demanded higher educational standards. Whatever happened to those ideals?

Source: www.theatlantic.com

"Fifty years later, it is clear that this struggle for a quality education was just as important as the right to vote. In the midst of the violence that summer, young people still in middle and high school joined the frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement. They participated in marches and demonstrations. They served time in jail. But the story of the Freedom Schools and the struggle for educational quality was relegated to the back pages of the New York Times."

Truthdig – The Questions Education Reformers Aren’t Asking

Source: www.truthdig.com

Upon closer examination, some of these miracles turn out to be suspect, the result of questionable assessments and manipulated numbers. The Texas Miracle didn’t hold up under scrutiny. And some, like the Harlem Children’s Zone—which is a commendable place—gain their excellence through hard work along multiple dimensions, from teaching and mentoring to utilizing outside resources and fundraising. There’s nothing miraculous about their successes.

Lighting the Path Toward Justice “Talk Back” & Panel Discussion by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Watch Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s Lighting the Path Toward Justice “Talk Back” & Panel Discussion on Livestream.com. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and highlighting the transformative impact of this groundbreaking legislation in forging a pathway to social justice and equal opportunity for all America.

Source: new.livestream.com

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights "Lighting the Path Toward Justice "Talk Back Panel

Non-Profit & Activism Event ·  More event details …

Wed Jun, 25 2014 12:00 PM EDT — Wed Jun, 25 2014 3:00 PM EDT

In Conversation with Cynthia McKinney l OUR COMMON GROUND July 5, 2014 l LIVE

"Confronting the New Amerikkan Empire" 
In Conversation with Cynthia McKinney

2014 Session Two: OUR COMMON GROUND
OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham
Saturday, July 5, 2014 10 pm ET   LIVE 

“The most powerful state in history has proclaimed, loud and clear, that it intends to rule the world by force, the dimension in which it reigns supreme.” – Noam Chomsky, 2003

And now they have forged a domestic will to assume such power within the borders.

OUR COMMON GROUND OPENS THE 2ND Session of 2014 on July 5, 2014. We are honored to have as our guest, Cynthia McKinney former U. S. Congresswoman, international human rights activist and former Presidential candidate, to discuss domestic and foreign policy in the new Amerikkan Empire.

 

WGBH American Experience | “PBS . Freedom Summer” | 06/24/14

A historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in what was one of the nation’s most viciously racist, segregated states.

Source: www.pbs.org

WGBH American Experience | "PBS . Freedom Summer" | 06/24/14 – http://sco.lt/6SInNB
….it’s on my PBS Station GPB right now!! Are you watching it on your local PBS Station??

Soul Emergence Radio l An Evening with Athor, Frank Schaeffer

Soul Emergence Radio with Peter E. Matthews
Tuesday, June 24, 2014   9 pm ET
 Soul Emergence Radio Episode 113: An evening with Frank Schaeffer

Source: www.facebook.com

Frank is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed novelist of 4 novels including Portofino who overcame severe dyslexia, a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, a feature film director and producer of four low budget Hollywood features Frank has described as "pretty terrible." Frank’s nonfiction includes "Keeping Faith-A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps" and AWOL-The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes From Military Service and How It Hurts Our Country." Of Frank’s writing Jeff Sharlet (The New Statesman October 25, 2007 ) writes, "’Crazy For God’ is a brilliant book, a portrait of fundamentalism painted in broad strokes with streaks of nuance, the twinned coming-of-age story of Frank and the Christian right." Jane Smiley (The Nation October 15, 2007) writes: "’Crazy For God’ offers considerable insight into several issues that have bedeviled American life in the past thirty years, and… when taken in conjunction with [Frank Schaeffer’s] other works (notably the Calvin Becker Trilogy, [‘Portofino,’ ‘Zermatt’ and ‘Saving Grandma’]), it gives us not only a handle on the mess we are in but also quite a few laughs…" Frank’s three semi-biographical novels about growing up in a fundamentalist mission: "Portofino," "Zermatt," "Saving Grandma" have been translated into 9 languages. "BABY JACK," a novel about the class division between who serves and who does not, was published in 2006.

USA TODAY said, "The reader marvels at how Schaeffer makes this concise chorus of social conviction moving and memorable…" 

Frank is a blogger on Huffington Post and Patheos. He was one of the first Huff Post bloggers and has a significant online platform worldwide. 

His three semi-biographical novels about growing up in a fundamentalist mission: Portofino, Zermattand Saving Grandma have a worldwide following and have been translated into nine languages. Pulitzer prize winner and novelist Jane Smiley writing in the Washington Post says this of Frank’s books Crazy For God and Sex, Mom and God: “Schaeffer’s memoirs have a way of winning a reader’s friendship…Schaeffer is a good memoirist, smart and often laugh-out-loud funny…Frank seems to have been born irreverent, but his memoirs have a serious purpose, and that is to expose the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics… Frank has been straightforward and entertaining in his campaign to right the political wrongs he regrets committing in the 1970s and ’80s…As someone who has made redemption his work, he has, in fact, shown amazing grace.”

His books include Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back and Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics–and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway. 

The Important Role of Armed Resistance in the Black Civil Rights Movement

CIVIL LIBERTIES  

The Important Role of Armed Resistance in the Black Civil Rights Movement

Even Martin Luther King Jr.’s Atlanta home was a discreet arsenal of weapons.

Photo Credit: Atomazul / Shutterstock.com

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of  “Freedom Summer” and the murder by Mississippi Kluxers of three young civil rights volunteers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and “Mickey” Schwerner.  The triple killing was world news mainly because Goodman and Schwerner were white Jewish New Yorkers.   If it had been only the African American Chaney, nobody outside the “beloved community” of the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee would have cared.  The deep south’s culture of violence against blacks was a given.
What’s not so given, even today, is the black community’s long tradition of armed resistance.  I’m riffing off Charles Cobb’s new book “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible.”  Cobb, a Brown University professor, is a former SNCC field worker, a bland way of saying he was under constant fire.   I’m also dipping into my own experience in the Freedom Summer south…but also north.
Ever since slaves were imported to Jamestown in 1619, armed self defense was an authentic part of the African American experience.  I don’t just mean well-known rebellions like Nat Turner’s, but ordinary day to day.  Almost every household I ever visited in the south had a hidden shotgun or pistol under the bed.  This contradicted MLK’s dominant peace-and-love message, his honestly-held outreach to whites, many of whom (like me) flocked to his Gandhian banner.  Less publicly known is that wherever “Martin” traveled he was bodyguarded by men with guns.  Indeed, his own Atlanta home was a  discreet arsenal of weapons.
Even less public was the role of armed black women who for decades had to endure sexual and physical assaults by white southern cops and other thugs who, given immunity from prosecution, felt they could rape at will.   Attending church services in Tuscaloosa, Selma or Montgomery, I was no longer surprised sitting next to a respectable black woman who opened her purse to fan herself revealing a modest little .22.  Cobb cites the well-known story of Mama Dolly Raines in southwest Georgia (where I stayed with SNCC) sitting by her window with her shotgun to protect the Rev. Charles Sherrod, a passionate believer in nonviolence, who was staying with her.
In Albany, Georgia, where I was longest, love and commitment were the hallmarks of community organizing.  The locals we were embedded in took us in like their own children.   We were family.   They would do anything to protect us from the constant threat of beatings and death.  Or as Mama Dolly, a midwife, told Sherrod, “Baby, I brought a lot of these white folks into this world, and I’ll take ‘em out of this world if I have to.”
It’s sometimes hard for civilized nawthenuhs to remember how American-cherrypie violence was in the south.  In Chattanooga, where I first went to school, streetcar conductors wore holstered pistols; city bus drivers all over the segregated south “packed”.   You shot a “nigger” who gave you lip without second thoughts or fear of arrest.  If you’re the local sheriff in rural Georgia and fancied a black man’s woman you erased him from the picture by beating him up and jailing him for assault.
Passive resistance began to change when WW2 veterans, trained in weapons, came home.  Suddenly bad whites were confronted by armed ex-soldiers in the Deacons for Defense or ex-Marine Robert Williams’ Black Armed Guard (with an NRA charter yet!) in Monroe, North Carolina, to defend against racist attacks.  Historically, there had always been the odd, defiant black man with a shotgun standing on his porch confronting KKK cross burners.   Now, here and there, wherever Rev. King went, or was afraid to go, was collective resistance.  In Birmingham when one of King’s bodyguards was asked how he protected his man, he replied, “With a nonviolent .38 police special.”
Up nawth the black mind set wasn’t all that different but with an entirely different circumstance.   When I held a seminar on Black Nationalism at Monteith College for half a dozen young street blacks each one of them proudly showed me his shiv or cheap pistol.  My sweet tempered Detroit host, Jim Boggs, the African American auto worker and Marxist activist, walked me to the corner bus stop on my last day but not before reaching behind his prized bust of Lenin on the mantelpiece and withdrawing his own .38 to escort me a city block.  In my old Chicago neighborhood my host, a postal worker, waved me up to his apartment by pointing a shotgun out of the window to signal to the gang kids downstairs, including his own son, he meant business.
The 10th District cops I rode with, both African American, were  armed: each hid a .45 under his clipboard, wore a hip holstered .38 and an ankle .25 caliber as backup to the backup plus two Mosberg 500 riot shotguns in the rack.  “And you know what,” said my police driver, “we’re still outgunned.”   His theory was that much of Chicago’s black-on-black violence was a form of culture shock.  “These southern boys come up north with their mamas looking for work.  Down in Alabama and Mississippi they had to toe the line or get lynched.  Yassuh noesuh shonuff suh.  All that peckerwood crap.  Take that train up to Chicago and the chains drop off.   They ain’t no more oppressed.  Run wild.  Cuss, shoot dope, murder each other or white folks.  They wouldn’t dare do that in Yazoo County.”
So in honoring Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman, martyrs to a beloved community of non violent resistance, I can’t help thinking how it might have turned out differently if on that lonely Mississippi road in 1964, they’d been tailed not by murderous morons but by the Deacons for Defense.

As We Celebrate The 50th Anniversary of ‘Freedom Summer,’ States Try to Roll Back Voting Rights

atlblkstar

As We Celebrate The 50th Anniversary of ‘Freedom Summer,’ States Try to Roll Back Voting Rights

 

civilrightsAs the nation looks back on the “Freedom Summer” that transpired 50 years ago in Mississippi when volunteers risked their lives to help Blacks fight for voting rights, many observers are struck by the irony of the commemoration occurring just as several states are attempting to turn back the clock and once again deprive residents of the right to vote.

With new laws requiring citizens to show IDs before they can vote and limiting weekend and early voting, states like Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas have caused many of the volunteers who fought for voting rights during Freedom Summer to question whether the nation is trying to turn back the advances gained as a result of their efforts.

The brutality unveiled by the Freedom Summer and the murders of three civil rights workers—James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner—exactly 50 years ago to this day, undoubtedly moved to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act,.

But in addition to 14 states passing voter ID laws over the past three years—following Barack Obama’s election as president, which was fueled by a surge of Black voters—a conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court last year voted to gut a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

Stanley Nelson, director of the highly anticipated documentary “Freedom Summer” that premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. on PBS, told CNN that the brave volunteers who risked their lives during that long ago summer are deeply disturbed by these latest developments.

“Everyone feels horrible about it,” Nelson says. “Everyone is so upset.”

According to CNN, his film “captures the idealism that inspired an interracial group of college students to journey to Mississippi for 10 weeks in the summer of 1964 to register African-American voters. But it also reveals what happened when that idealism collided with the casual brutality of white Mississippians who saw Freedom Summer as a ‘n****r communist invasion.’”

While authorities searched for her still-missing husband, Rita Schwerner, wife of murdered civil rights worker Michael Schwerner, told reporters at the time, “It’s tragic, as far as I’m concerned that white Northerners have to be caught up in the machinery of injustice and indifference in the South before the American people register concern. I personally suspect that if Mr. Chaney, who is a native Mississippian Negro, had been alone at the time of the disappearance, that this case, like so many others that have come before, would have gone completely unnoticed.”

About Nick Chiles
Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. He has written or co-written 12 books and won over a dozen major journalism awards during a journalism career that brought him to the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Ledger of New Jersey and New York Newsday, in addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey Couleur travel magazine.

What Was Freedom Summer?

Amazing Fact About the Negro No. 85: Why was the summer of 1964 pivotal in the fight for civil rights?

Tomorrow night, you will have an opportunity to experience “Freedom Summer” the way my family did: on television. Only back then, we…

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Tomorrow night, you will have an opportunity to experience “Freedom Summer” the way my family did: on television. Only back then, we didn’t know whether civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner would be found alive down in Mississippi. We also didn’t know whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (our subject next week), without badly needed voting-rights protections, would begin to fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a new American racial order, following a hundred years’ war between advocates for full and equal black citizenship and the architects of all the snares that had hampered black progress since the collapse of Reconstruction in 1876.