Lessons from Freedom Summer: Ordinary People Building Extraordinary Movements


lessons“This collection of readings and suggested questions on Freedom Schools is an almost unimaginable collection of goodies for educators to help students recognize their potential as agents of social change. By offering such a rich array of experience accumulated in the Freedom Schools of the 1964 ‘Mississippi Summer Project,’ accompanied by provocative discussion questions, this book enables middle and high school youth to begin thinking of themselves as making history. Here are profiles of those who participated in that summer that offer models of how leadership can come from anyone who cares enough, not just the famous. By looking at past achievements, all the human connections made in the struggle against racism, and the possibilities ahead, the message comes across: You Are History.” —Elizabeth Martinez, teacher, activist and editor of Letters from Mississippi: Personal reports from civil rights volunteers of the 1964 Freedom Summer

“Part history text, part curriculum, part invitation to activism, Lessons from Freedom Summer is enormously useful and inspirational. U.S. history features a legacy of democratic struggle too often neglected or marginalized in school curricula. Every social studies or history teacher can benefit from this wonderful resource.” —Bill Bigelow, editor, Rethinking Schools magazine; author, The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration

Lessons from Freedom Summer is a unique resource that details the transformative impact of the Mississippi Freedom Schools of 1964. I believe that the lessons of Freedom Summer will inform a whole new generation of activists who struggle for social justice in their communities today.” —Clayborne Carson, Professor of History, Stanford University

See Education and Democracy website for full Freedom Schools curriculum.

Credit: By Kathy Emery, Linda Reid Gold, and Sylvia Braselmann. Published by Common Courage Press, 2008.