The Freedom Schools of 1968

July 3, 2008 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

Freedom Summer and School flyer

(Right click, or control+click for macs, on the picture and select “View Image” to see full size. Recommended.)

I stumbled upon this last night from the website Education and Democracy, and it’s very cool: the online archives of The Freedom Schools and all of their curricula put together during the Freedom Summer of 1968. For those of you not acquainted with what either of these are, here is the start of the description from the website:

In the summer of l964, forty-one Freedom Schools opened in the churches, on the back porches, and under the trees of Mississippi. The students were native Mississippians, averaging fifteen years of age, but often including small children who had not yet begun school to the elderly who had spent their lives laboring in the fields. Their teachers were volunteers, for the most part still students themselves. The task of this small group of students and teachers was daunting. They set out to replace the fear of nearly two hundred years of violent control with hope and organized action. Both students and teachers faced the possibility, and in some cases, the reality, of brutal retaliation from local whites. They had little money and few supplies. Yet the Freedom Schools set out to alter forever the state of Mississippi, the stronghold of the Southern way of life.

Read the full description here. I have yet to sort through all the curricula, but you can find it partially in text form here or you can go download them in PDF form from here. Or just go to the main website. Well, I am very excited to go through all of this. These documents are not only very important historically, they could probably be reused to teach things for free and to teach about what was going on in the 1960’s via the Civil Rights movement (and to see what they were teaching/learning back then!). Here is a list of topics that is covered in these curricula and that was taught in the Freedom Schools during 1968 (copy and pasted from the complete curricula PDF):

  • Academic Curriculum: Reading and Writing Skills
  • Mathematics (Excerpt)
  • Science
  • Citizenship Curriculum Unit I – VI
  • Citizenship Curriculum Unit VII, part 1
  • Citizenship Curriculum Unit VII, part 2
  • Statistics on Education, Housing, Income, etc. Iris Greenberg Collection
  • The South as an Underdeveloped Country
  • The Poor in America
  • Chester, PA.—Community Organization in the Other America
  • Guide to Negro History
  • History addendum I
  • History addendum II
  • Negro History Study Questions
  • Development of Negro Power since 1900
  • Mississippi Power Structure
  • Power of the Dixiecrats
  • Nazi Germany
  • Hazard, KY
  • Statements of Discipline of Nonviolent Movements
  • Readings in Nonviolence Iris Greenberg Collection
  • Nonviolence in American History
  • Voter Registration Laws in Mississippi

This is a great resource, historical document, and event to be remembered. I’ll have more on this once I finish going through the documents.

Posted in Reading Links.


Entry filed under: Anti-Oppression and Free Schools. Tags: , , , .

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