Freedom Now: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi


Freedom Now: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi from The Choices Program at Brown University offers readings, a role play, lessons, video clips, and supplemental materials on the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. The resources trace the history of the Black freedom struggle from Reconstruction through the 1960s with a focus on the grassroots movement to achieve civil rights for African Americans.


Part I of the reading identifies the historical roots of racial inequality and discrimination by exploring the end of slavery, Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow. In Part II, students read about the movement that developed in Mississippi, and the ways in which national and local forces interacted at the grass-roots level. The readings conclude with an examination of the legacies of the civil rights movement.

Role Play

A central activity helps students understand the importance of the 1964 Democratic National Convention, at which African American delegates from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party challenged the legitimacy of the all-white Mississippi Democratic Party.


Data Analysis: Separate, but Equal? Measuring Plessy vs. Ferguson in Mississippi
Students analyze historical data to compare education resources for white and black students in Mississippi.

The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells
Students use primary sources to examine the work of an early civil rights activist.

Voices from Mississippi
Students read primary sources about the experiences of female student activists in Mississippi.

Singing for Freedom
Students analyze songs sung by the Freedom Riders in 1961 and consider their importance in the civil rights movement.

Oral Histories: Students in the Civil Rights Movement
In this online lesson, students hear stories from former civil rights activists about what motivated them to join the movement.

A Nonviolent Movement?
Students use primary sources to assess popular perceptions of the civil rights movement and examine different perspectives on the role of violence.

Civil Rights and U.S. Public Schools Today
Students review the role of two Supreme Court decisions: Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education and consider arguments around the issue of school segregation.

Credit: Brown University, 2012.

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