Today, Saturday, JUNE 21, 2014, marks the 50th Anniversary of the SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 1964, horrific MURDERS Of JAMES CHANEY, 21, ANDREW GOODMAN, 20, and MICHAEL SCHWERNER, 24, that took place in PHILADELPHIA, MS, during the 1964 FREEDOM SUMMER (MISSISSIPPI SUMMER PROJECT)!!!
FREEDOM SUMMER launched in June 1964 to attempt to register BLACK VOTERS in MISSISSIPPI.
The project also set up dozens of FREEDOM SCHOOLS, FREEDOM HOUSES, and COMMUNITY CENTERS in small towns throughout Mississippi to aid the local black population.
The project was organized by the COUNCIL Of FEDERATED ORGANIZATIONS (COFO), a coalition of the Mississippi branches of the four major civil rights organizations (CORE, NAACP, SCLS, SNCC). Most of the impetus, leadership, and financing for the Summer Project came from the SNCC. SNCC Field Secretary/COFO Co-Director ROBERT PARRIS MOSES directed the summer project.
BLACK resident LEROY CLEMONS grew up in Philadelphia, the east Mississippi town synonymous with the covered-up murders and burials of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, three young civil-rights workers, as Freedom Summer began. He was two that year.
LEROY CLEMONS said;
“The only thing people knew about Philadelphia, Mississippi, was those murders, and they knew more about it than we did. I was reading about the fathers of some of the people I was friends with. Even Cecil Price himself. I had no idea. They were always nice. Always. I have no memories of them speaking disrespectfully, ever.”Clemons, now 52, recalled of the post-1964 years of his childhood. As a teenager, he quietly began reading books on the crime. He was astounded to see recognizable names—including then-deputy sheriff and Klansman Cecil Price, who pulled the trio over in his patrol car and deposited them at their Klan execution site—and to learn about the role these local adults had played.
Nothing changed publicly. The subject remained taboo.
GREENWOOD, MS-native ATLANTIC Journalist ELLEN ANN FENTRESS journeys to PHILADELPHIA, MS, to find out how local residents feel about ENDING 50 YEARS Of SILENCE About The 1964 FREEDOM SUMMER Of MISSISSIPPI.