The Freedom Summer Murders by Don MitchellTo coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer murders, this will be the first book for young adults to explore the harrowing true story of three civil rights workers slain by the KKK.
In June of 1964, three idealistic young men (one black and two white) were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. They were trying to register African Americans to vote as part of the Freedom Summer effort to bring democracy to the South. Their disappearance and murder caused a national uproar and was one of the most significant incidents of the Civil Rights Movement, and contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
THE FREEDOM SUMMER MURDERS will be the first book for young people to take a comprehensive look at the brutal murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, through to the conviction in 2005 of mastermind Edgar Ray Killen.
The Lynching of the three Civil Rights Workers
Bodies of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner discovered
They were planning to work in Mississippi that summer and were being trained at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio. Amidst the alarm and panic that followed, someone asked how to spell the names of those who were missing. Zion Church, the site they had planned to serve as a Freedom School that summer, had burned to the ground. Their organizing efforts had also captured the attention of whites in Neshoba County, who came to recognize the blue Ford station wagon that Schwerner drove. The interracial pair had recruited Andrew Goodman, an incoming summer volunteer, to help with the Freedom School. When the team learned of the burning, they quickly left the Freedom Summer orientation in Oxford, Ohio to investigate what had happened.
The murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner , also known as the Freedom Summer murders , the Mississippi civil rights workers' murders or the Mississippi Burning murders , involved three activists who were abducted and murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi in June during the Civil Rights Movement. They had been working with the Freedom Summer campaign by attempting to register African Americans in Mississippi to vote. This registration effort was a part of contesting over 70 years of laws and practices that supported a systematic policy, begun by several states in , of disenfranchisement of potential black voters. The three men had traveled from Meridian, Mississippi, to the community of Longdale to talk with congregation members at a church that had been burned. The trio was thereafter arrested following a traffic stop outside Philadelphia, Mississippi for speeding, escorted to the local jail and held for a number of hours. Before leaving Neshoba County their car was pulled over and all three were abducted, driven to another location, and shot at close range. The three men's bodies were then transported to an earthen dam where they were buried.