Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Freedom Summer For Young People

The Violent Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy

by Rebecca Stefoff and Bruce Watson

1595516091-f_feature
15955160919781644210093

This latest edition in Triangle Square's For Young People series is a gripping account of the summer that changed America.


In the summer of 1964, as the Civil Rights movement boiled over, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) sent more than seven hundred college students to Mississippi to help black Americans already battling for democracy, their dignity and the right to vote. The campaign was called “Freedom Summer.” But on the evening after volunteers arrived, three young civil rights workers went missing, presumed victims of the Ku Klux Klan. The disappearance focused America’s attention on Mississippi. In the days and weeks that followed, volunteers and local black activists faced intimidation, threats, and violence from white people who didn't believe African Americans should have the right to vote. As the summer unfolded, volunteers were arrested or beaten. Black churches were burned. More Americans came to Mississippi, including doctors, clergymen, and Martin Luther King. A few frightened volunteers went home, but the rest stayed on in Mississippi, teaching in Freedom Schools, registering voters, and living with black people as equals. Freedom Summer brought out the best and the worst in America. The story told within these pages is of everyday people fighting for freedom, a fight that continues today. Freedom Summer for Young People is a riveting account of a decisive moment in American history, sure to move and inspire readers.

Freedom Summer For Young People Teaching Guide Forthcoming

1595516091-f_feature
15955160919781644210093

Buying options

“Compelling, comprehensive, and immensely readable, Freedom Summer for Young People invites readers to confront a grim historical moment and to witness the courage of people who risked everything, even their lives, for the sake of racial equality in Mississippi. If you think you don’t need yet another book about the Freedom Summer, you’re wrong.”

“Here is the whole story of the young people who risked their lives for freedom that terrible, wonderful summer of 1964—and the disenfranchised Mississippians who risked their lives simply by being black. It's history that will make your blood boil. This page-turner should be required reading for every student.”

Bruce Watson's previous books include Sacco and Vanzetti, a finalist for the Edgar Award, and Bread and Roses, a New York Public Library Book to Remember. His journalism has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Boston GlobeSmithsonian, and Reader's Digest. He lives in Massachusetts.