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Jackson to celebrate Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th

JACKSON, Miss. — Mayor of Jackson, Miss., and Detroit native Chokwe Lumumba announced plans Dec. 10 for a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Freedom Summer and a corresponding conference.

In the summer of 1964, thousands of young volunteers from all over the United States joined thousands of activists in Mississippi to try and register Black Mississippians to vote. At the time, only 6.7 percent of eligible Black Mississippians were registered to vote, because of KKK intimidation and Jim Crow laws. Civil rights activists and local supporters were killed and dozens of churches and homes were bombed and burned during the movement. The large scale of the action and the extremity of the violence attracted attention from the national media, which had previously ignored racial injustice in the South.

The commemorative event, titled “the Movement Forward,” is scheduled to take place from June 25-29, 2014 in Jackson. Festivities will be organized by the State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (MS NAACP) and the Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Committee Partners. Activities will include: workshops, poetry readings, live music, a blues and catfish picnic and presentations from Marian Wright Edelman, Dr. Robert “Bob” Moses and more.

In a press statement, organizers said the conference will highlight “the legacy of Freedom Summer … and recognize the accomplishments of the more than 1,600 students, workers and staff which collectively made changes to our state during a time of segregation and inequality. This event will serve as an opportunity to both celebrate the positive changes that resulted from the past and uplift this city, state, and nation collectively as we forge ahead towards the promise of our future.”

For more information visit  or call 601.977.7914.

— Staff report


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