50LogoSquare new 450In the summer of 1964, hundreds of summer volunteers from across America convened in Mississippi to put an end to the system of rigid segregation. The civil rights workers and the summer volunteers successfully challenged the denial by the state of Mississippi to keep Blacks from voting, getting a decent education, and holding elected offices.

As a result of the Freedom Summer of 1964, some of the barriers to voting have been eliminated and Mississippi has close to 1000 Black state and local elected officials. In fact, Mississippi has more Black elected officials than any other state in the union. While the Freedom Summer of ’64 made profound changes in the state of Mississippi and the country, much remains to be accomplished.

The Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference will convene in Jackson, Mississippi this June 25-29, both to recognize the accomplishments and those who worked for changes to the politically segregated Mississippi and to discuss how to continue the struggle toward Mississippi reaching its full potential for all of its citizens.

“FIFTY YEARS DISTILLED” 

Fifty years ago, there came from many quarters of our nation a youthful diversity of ethnicities, opinions, lifestyles, and persuasions, a cadre of risk-takers committed to lifting the last burden from the shoulders of the world’s last oppressed woman and man.  Our coming together was more than idealism that has since been celebrated as the Mississippi Summer of 1964.

While countless pundits and chroniclers from without have vertically described, discussed and even extolled the seasonal events of that year, this is the rare occasion, some fifty years later, for a horizontal view of those who survived to tell the story — it origins, frustrations, triumphs and its aspirations as well as hope.

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Words crack and crumble under the strain of fully describing those 1964 days on paper, but during these days of our assembly, our authentic faces and voices can uniquely make history live and breathe and teach greater moral bandwidth for a new generation.  The “no stalgia” of our being here once more together is more than the remembering of our old pain, it is the memory of our collective possibilities as well to change the world.

To register to attend and for more information, visit Freedom50.org.