Americans are grappling again with issues of social justice and racial equality, in light of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. And here in the Miami Valley the same issues are in the headlines, since John Crawford III was shot by police in a Beavercreek Walmart store on August 5.
In 1962, with funds provided by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Charlie Cobb boarded a bus in Washington D.C and headed to Houston, Texas to attend a civil rights workshop. At a stopover in Jackson, Mississippi, he contacted the local Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) group. Activist Lawrence Guyot persuaded him to stay and contribute to the organizing efforts already underway. Five years on the ground in Mississippi between 1962 and 1967 gave Cobb a perspective few historians have.
Andrew Goodman was a young man from New York who went to Mississippi during the summer of 1964 to participate in the civil rights struggles that were taking place then in the South. Shortly after he arrived he vanished. Andrew and two other civil rights workers had been taken by members of the Ku Klux Klan and brutally murdered. Their bodies were found some time later.
50 years ago this month, volunteers from across the country came to Oxford, Ohio to prepare for a pivotal event in the civil rights movement. Dave Barber created this story for WYSO'S Community Voices.
“We hope to send into Mississippi this summer upwards of 1000 teachers, ministers and students from all around the country who will engage in what are we calling freedom schools, community center programs, voter registration activities, in general a program designed to open Mississippi to the country.” Bob Moses 1964