Thunder of Freedom: Black Leadership and the Transformation of 1960s Mississippi


Thunder of FreedomThe world’s eyes were on Mississippi during the summer of 1964 when civil rights activists launched an ambitious African American voter registration project and were met with violent resistance from white supremacists. Sue Sojourner and her husband arrived in Holmes County, Mississippi in the wake of this historic time, known as “Freedom Summer.”

From September, 1964 until her departure from the state in 1969, Sojourner collected an incredible number of documents, oral histories, and photographs chronicling the dramatic events that she witnessed. In this remarkable book, written in collaboration with Cheryl Reitan, Sojourner presents a fascinating portrait of the civil rights movement in one of the most active and broad-based community organizing operations in the South.

Thunder of Freedom unites Sojourner’s personal experiences with her insights regarding the dynamics of race relations in the 1960s South, providing readers with a unique look at the struggle for rights and equality in Mississippi. Illustrated with selections from Sojourner’s acclaimed catalog of photographs, this profound book tells the powerful, often intimate stories of ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things. [Publisher’s description.]

Credit: By Sue Sojourner and Cheryl Reitan. Published by University Press of Kentucky, December 2012.