A Disturbing Catalog of Violence Against Freedom Summer Participants

Freedom Summer Digital Collection, Wisconsin Historical Society.

This “Incident Summary” details acts of harassment, big and small, reported by civil rights activists and allies working in McComb, Miss. in the summer of 1964.

The “Freedom Summer” project (known at the time as the Mississippi Summer Project) was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Congress of Racial Equality, the NAACP, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 1,500 volunteers—college students, clergy, attorneys, and doctors—spent the summer working throughout Mississippi.

Activists hoped to register voters and drum up support for an alternative slate of candidates to challenge the entrenched Democratic congressional delegation. The incident summary shows how the summer of 1964 unfolded in one particularly dangerous place: the small city of McComb, an hour and fifteen minutes south of Jackson.

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.