The Freedom Schools: Student Activists in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement by Jon HaleThe Freedom Schools: Student Activists in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement by Jon Hale

The Freedom Schools: Student Activists in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement

byJon Hale

Hardcover | June 7, 2016

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Created in 1964 as part of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Mississippi Freedom Schools were launched by educators and activists to provide an alternative education for African American students that would facilitate student activism and participatory democracy. The schools, as Jon N. Hale demonstrates, had a crucial role in the civil rights movement and a major impact on the development of progressive education throughout the nation. Designed and run by African American and white educators and activists, the Freedom Schools counteracted segregationist policies that inhibited opportunities for black youth. Providing high-quality, progressive education that addressed issues of social justice, the schools prepared African American students to fight for freedom on all fronts. Forming a political network, the Freedom Schools taught students how, when, and where to engage politically, shaping activists who trained others to challenge inequality.

Based on dozens of first-time interviews with former Freedom School students and teachers and on rich archival materials, this remarkable social history of the Mississippi Freedom Schools is told from the perspective of those frequently left out of civil rights narratives that focus on national leadership or college protestors. Hale reveals the role that school-age students played in the civil rights movement and the crucial contribution made by grassroots activists on the local level. He also examines the challenges confronted by Freedom School activists and teachers, such as intimidation by racist Mississippians and race relations between blacks and whites within the schools. In tracing the stories of Freedom School students into adulthood, this book reveals the ways in which these individuals turned training into decades of activism. Former students and teachers speak eloquently about the principles that informed their practice and the influence that the Freedom School curriculum has had on education. They also offer key strategies for further integrating the American school system and politically engaging today's youth.

Jon N. Hale is an assistant professor of educational history and civil rights at the College of Charleston. He is a coauthor of To Write in the Light of Freedom: The Newspapers of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools (2015).
Title:The Freedom Schools: Student Activists in the Mississippi Civil Rights MovementFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:June 7, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023117568X

ISBN - 13:9780231175685

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsAbbreviationsIntroduction: The Mississippi Freedom Schools1. "The Pathway from Slavery to Freedom": The Origins of Education and the Ideology of Liberation in Mississippi2. "There Was Something Happening": The Civil Rights Education and Politicization of the Freedom School Students3. "The Student as a Force for Social Change": The Politics and Organization of the Mississippi Freedom Schools4. "We Will Walk in the Light of Freedom": Attending and Teaching in the Freedom Schools5. "We Do Hereby Declare Independence": Educational Activism and Reconceptualizing Freedom After the Summer Campaign6. Carrying Forth the Struggle: Freedom Schools and Contemporary Educational PolicyEpilogue: Remembering the Freedom Schools Fifty Years LaterNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

Hale's well-documented chronicle sharply reminds readers that there are still miles to go in obliterating racism, and that there are still stories to be told. Highly recommended.