Freedom Summer 1964 50th Anniversary Conference

CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

The conference will examine the legacies of civil rights activism, engaging diverse audiences in public conversations about race and identity politics, the changing South, defining and protecting U.S. citizenship, local people in global movements, and the education of future leaders. It will present an interdisciplinary roster of keynote speakers, panel discussions and workshops on various topics:

  • Education (integration, affirmative action, civic engagement, teaching the Civil Rights Movement, etc.)
  • Politics (voter registration; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; immigration debates; participation in local, state, and national elections)
  • Cultural Studies (racial reconciliation and Jim Crow today)
  • History (recovery, preservation, and memorials of the Civil Rights Movement; digital archives and beyond)

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

During the summer of 1964, the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a coalition of civil rights organizations, concentrated on Mississippi to bring widespread attention to the extreme racism and segregated culture in the state. The volunteers who came from across the nation partnered with local people to challenge the racist status quo with public protests and political campaigns. Hattiesburg was the primary site for creating “freedom schools,” where African Americans of all ages were taught civic education and cultural history to prepare them for becoming more informed citizens. Hundreds of black children also enrolled in freedom schools to supplement their deficient public school education. The volunteers who came from across the nation partnered with local people to challenge the racist status quo with public protests and political campaigns. African American communities in Hattiesburg's Mobile-Bouie area and Palmer’s Crossing, for example, were central to this local civil rights movement.


 

SPONSORS

center for black studies logo Southern Miss College of Arts and Letters Logo  

Mississippi Power Logo

Southern Miss College of Science and Technology Logo  mississippi humanities council logo
  • The University of Southern Mississippi English Department
  • The University of Southern Mississippi School of Construction
  • The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Educational Studies and Research
  • The University of Southern Mississippi Honors College
  • The University of Southern Mississippi Friends of University Libraries
  • The African American Military History Museum Committee
  • Trustmark Bank