FROM MDAH RELEASES — In the summer of 1964 hundreds of northern college students, most of them white, joined with local African Americans in communities across Mississippi to register voters, conduct Freedom Schools, and promote civil rights. Beginning in June MDAH will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer with an original exhibit at the Winter Building, diverse programming at its sites, and an address at the Old Capitol by an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.
On Monday, June 2, Dr. Robert P. Moses will give the keynote address for the 2014 Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series. A leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations, Moses became a principal organizer of the Freedom Summer Project. He was also instrumental in establishing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that would challenge Mississippi’s all-white delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the fall of 1964.
Moses went on to work for the Ministry of Education in Tanzania, East Africa, and returned to the U.S. to pursue a doctoral degree in philosophy at Harvard University. In 1982 he received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship that he used to develop the Algebra Project, a nonprofit dedicated to improving student achievement through mathematics. He serves as director of the project’s materials development program.
“Bob Moses is a hero for our state and our nation,” said Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, “a man who has shed blood, sweat, and tears to ensure the rights guaranteed to every American are realized. Long after Freedom Summer, Dr. Moses continued to work with the children of Mississippi to give them the tools they needed to succeed in our modern world. It is an honor to welcome him back to deliver the 2014 Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture.”
Dr. Leslie McLemore, retired founding director of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy at Jacson State University, will introduce Moses.
The 2014 Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series is made possible by the Mississippi Humanities Council through its Cora Norman Lecture Fund. The June 2 talk will officially open the new exhibit “Stand Up!”: Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. Drawing on photographs, artifacts, documents, and film footage from the MDAH collection, the exhibit will examine the courage, violence, and promise of the “long, hot summer.” A replica school room modeled from photographs of Freedom Schools will give visitors an idea of the conditions volunteers and students worked under. An original short documentary film commissioned by MDAH for the exhibit explores the aims of the Freedom Summer project and tells the story of the murdered Civil Rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner and the creation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
“Stand Up!” will run through October 31 at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson. The free exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
MDAH is a co-sponsor of the Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference in Jackson organized by the Mississippi Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, Inc.; Mississippi State Conference NAACP; and Tougaloo College. The June 25-29 conference will highlight the legacy of Freedom Summer, recognize the accomplishments of those who changed Mississippi for the better, and examine ways to continue that progress for all of its citizens.
To register or learn more about the conference, see their website . For more information about any of these events, call 601-576-6850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.