Concerning his next broadcast, host Dick Flacks writes:
freedom summer soundtrack
This week marks the 50th anniversary of launching the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. As hundreds of northern volunteers were training at Miami University in Ohio to work in freedom schools and help with voter registration, they learned on June 21 that three volunteers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner had gone missing in Neshoba County after their detention by the local sheriff.
About a thousand northern students nevertheless went to Mississippi for the summer, despite the police state conditions and the terror. The Summer helped shine an international light on the southern struggle and was a central episode in the struggle to overthrow the southern apartheid system, and to achieve political voice for black communities in the deep south.
The movement was powered in part by song—the freedom songs that helped sustain solidarity in the face of oppression and the popular songs that helped recruit the northern freedom workers, and spread the news and the spirit of the struggle. We’ll sample those songs this week on the radio.