Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Summer Protests
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Presents: An Advanced Screening of the Film Freedom Summer with Special Guest Speaker Dr. Winston Grady-Willis (Prof. and Chair of the Department of Africana Studies, MSU)
Saturday, May 31, 2 p.m.
Free and open to the public, seating is limited
Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library
In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not turn away from Mississippi. Over ten memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation’s most segregated states. Working together, they canvassed for voter registration, created Freedom Schools and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party with the goal of challenging the segregationist state Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. Freedom Summer was marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches and the bombing of 70 homes and community centers.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders, The Murder of Emmett Till), Freedom Summer highlights an overlooked but essential element of the civil rights movement: the patient and long-term efforts by outside activists and local citizens in Mississippi to organize communities and register black voters — even in the face of intimidation, physical violence and death.
Can't make the screening...no problem. The film is scheduled to premiere: Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 8 p.m. MST on Rocky Mountain PBS
Meet our Speaker:
Winston Grady-Willis is professor and chair of the Department of Africana Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He earned a BA in history from Columbia, an MPS in Africana Studies from Cornell, and a PhD in history from Emory. Prior to coming to MSU Denver he was Director of Intercultural Studies and associate professor of American Studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. While at Syracuse University, where he taught and labored in the Department of African American Studies, he received the Meredith Teaching Recognition Award. His book, Challenging U.S. Apartheid: Atlanta and Black Struggles for Human Rights, 1960-1977 (Duke), seeks to provide a gendered examination of the contemporary Black Freedom movement. His articles have appeared in Presence Africaine, The Black Panther Party Reconsidered and Black Prison Movements, USA.
This event is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
For a sneak peek...check out the preview below.