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Mississippi Summer Project



Mississippi Summer Project


Pamphlet giving background information on the Mississippi Summer Project.


Mississippi Freedom Project
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
Freedom Summer Project (Mississippi)


Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)



Date Created



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Spatial Coverage



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Although the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee has active projects in thirteen Southern states, it has achieved its most dynamic success in the state of Mississippi. A state where individual political life is nonexistent , where the economic condition of a vast majority of the population is appalling, the home of white supremacy, Mississippi has become the main target of SNCC's staff and resources.
In August, 1961, SNCC went into Mississippi under the leadership of Project Director Robert Moses. Overcoming violence and hardship, SNCC workers have been able to expand their activity into all five of Mississippi's congressional districts. By fall, 1963, SNCC had joined with CORE, SCLC, the NAACP and many voting and civic groups in forming a statewide organization, the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). and through COFO conducted a Freedom Vote campaign in which 80,000 disenfranchised Negroes cast ballots for Aaron Henry for Governor.
Preparation for real democracy calls for additional programs in the state. Literacy projects have been instituted, and food and clothing drives.But much more comprehensive programs are needed to combat the terrible cultural and economic deprivation of Negro communities in Mississippi.
This summer, SNCC in cooperation with COFO, is launching a massive Peace Corps type operation in Mississippi. Students, teachers, technicians, nurses, artists and legal advisors will be recruited to come to Mississippi to staff a wide range of programs that include voter registration, freedom schools, community centers and special projects.
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All photographs were taken during Freedom Day at Hattiesburg, Mississippi on January 22, 1964. Above photo by Norris McNamara, other photos by Danny Lyon.
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The Mississippi Summer Project needs money now to estimable and support the activities described in this pamphlet. We are asking the people of America-individuals as well as institutions-to contribute now to assist SNCC in its commitment to the struggle for justice in the state of Mississippi.
A contribution in any amount will be of help. For example:
$5 will supply school material for one day student for the entire summer.
$25 sill pay the utility bills for one Freedom School for the summer.
$50 will buy office material for one vote registration field office.
$100 will buy material for a home nursing and baby care class for a community center.
$125 will buy one tape recorder for a Freedom School.
$400 will provide scholarship money for one Southern Negro college student, enabling him to return to school after working in Mississippi for the summer.
$2000 will rent and remodel a building for one Community Center.
$3000 will buy one used bus for transporting vote workers and registrants.
Send your contributions to:
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
8 1/2 Raymond Street N.W.
Atlanta 14, Georgia

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The struggle for freedom in Mississippi can only be won by a combination of action within the state and a heightened awareness throughout the country of the need for massive federal intervention to ensure the voting rights of Negroes. This summer's program will work toward both objectives.
Voter registration workers will operate in every rural county and important urban area in the state. These workers will be involved in a summer-long drive to mobilize the Negro community of Mississippi and assist in developing local leadership and organization.
Forty thousand dollars must be raised for a Freedom Registration campaign. The registration campaign which was launched in February will be implemented by summer workers. Freedom Registrars will be established in every precinct, with registration books

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books clearly resembling the official books of the state. The Freedom Registration books will serve as a basis for challenging the official books and the validity of "official" federal elections this fall.
Finally, voter registration workers will assist in the summer campaign of Freedom Candidates who will be running for Congressional office.
An integral part of SNCC's voter registration work is the development of leadership for politically emerging communities. Freedom Schools will begin to supply the political education which the existing system does not provide for Negroes in Mississippi.
The sumer project will establish ten daytime Freedom Schools and three resident schools. The daytime school will be attend-

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ed by 10th, 11th and 12th grade pupils; the schools will operate five days a week int eh students' home towns. Instruction will be highly individualized-each school will have about fifteen teachers and fifty students. The program will include remedial work in reading, math and basic grammar as well as seminars in political science, the humanities, journalism and creative writing. Wherever possible, studies will be related to problems in the students' own society.
The three resident schools will be attended by more advance students from throughout the state. The program will be essentially the same as that of the day schools, with emphasis on political studies.
The students who attend the schools will provide Mississippi with at nucleus of leadership committed to critical thought and social action.
In addition to the Freedom Schools, Community Centers will provide searches normally denied the Negro community in Mississippi. Staffed by experienced social workers, nurses, librarians and teachers in the arts and crafts, the center will provide educational and cultural programs for the community. Instruction will be given in pre-natal and infant care and general hygiene; programs will provide adult literacy and vocational training. The thirty thousand books in SNCC's Greenwood office library will be distributed to theses centers. and others will be obtained. The centers will serve as places of political education and organization, and will provide a structure to channel a wide range of programs int the Negro community in the future.

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The program of voter registration and political organization will attempt to change the fundamental structure of political and economic activity in Mississippi. In order to accurately picture this structure, extensive research must be done into Mississippi's suppressive political and economic life. Skilled personnel are needed to carry out this program both from within and outside the state.
The effort to organize and educate Mississippi whites in the direction of democracy and decency can no longer be delayed. About thirty students, Southern whites who have recently joined the civil rights movement. will begin pilot projects in white communities. An attempt will be made to organize poor white areas to make steps toward eliminating bigotry, poverty and ignorance.
A large number of law students will come to Mississippi to launch a massive legal offensive against the official tyranny of the state. The time has come to challenge every Mississippi law which deprives Negroes of their rights, and to bring suit against every state and local official who commits crimes in the name of his office.
Trained Personnel Are Needed
For Applications write:
1017 Lynch Street - Room 10
Jackson, Mississippi
(applications must be received by mid-April)

Original Format

8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)


Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.), “Mississippi Summer Project ,” Queens College Civil Rights Archives, accessed March 18, 2018, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights/items/show/230.