The Freedom Schools: Student Activists in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement


Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.9 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Jon N. Hale is associate professor of educational history in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of South Carolina. He is a coauthor of To Write in the Light of Freedom: The Newspapers of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools (2015).


Jon N. Hale's work hits the mark! It is accurate and timely in refocusing our attention on the profound power of African American youth and education. The activists and young learners who made the Freedom Schools possible have greatly gone unsung. In the midst of imminent danger, they learned and experienced democracy while illustrating the efficacy of community participation in education. Hale rightly places them at the forefront of the struggle for freedom. His book reminds us of those who saved the nation's soul.--Stefan M. Bradley, author of Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s
Hale's groundbreaking examination of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee's tireless efforts to provide free educational opportunities for Mississippi's African American children is an often overlooked yet instrumental component of the Mississippi Freedom Summer. The Freedom Schools offers a greater understanding of the schools' lasting legacy and the profound impact of the Freedom Schools on Mississippi's black students as they later engaged in boycotts and school walkouts, influencing public school desegregation efforts and the civil rights movement.--Sonya Ramsey, author of Reading, Writing, and Segregation: A Century of Black Women Teachers in Nashville
Hale's impressive study will make a major contribution to civil rights historiography. It provides a very realistic view of Freedom Schools with great detail and precision and astutely illustrates the significant role of education in the civil rights movement.--Derrick Alridge, University of Virginia
Hale's important study impresses because of its meticulous research, insightful analysis, and cogent argument... His work adds yet another important piece to the complex puzzle of the civil rights movement and will be of value to scholars and educators.--Simon Wendt, University of Frankfurt "Journal of American History "
Present-day teachers and students reading Hale's book might find themselves invigorated by this history of the Freedom Schools. Perhaps its lessons can inspire renewed questioning about the meaning of citizenship and democracy today.--Susan Eckelmann Berghel, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga "Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth "
The narrative reads smoothly and leaves the reader with a greater sense of the hopes, desires, and goals of the [Mississippi Civil Rights] movement.--CounterPunch
Hale's well-documented chronicle sharply reminds readers that there are still miles to go in obliterating racism, and that there are still stories to be told. Highly recommended.--Choice
Apart from its subject matter and its analytical contributions, The Freedom Schools exemplifies the power of community studies and oral histories.--History of Education
The Freedom Schools adds depth and complexity to our emerging understanding of the civil rights movement. It should appeal especially to those interested in the intersection of education and social change.--American Historical Review
Make[s] invaluable contributions to our understanding of the relationship between education and the Mississippi freedom struggle, and as such should have broad appeal to scholars focused on education, civil rights, African American history, childhood, and/or Southern history . . . While not flinching away from failures and setbacks, Hale [reminds] us that transformative change is possible, even in the face of overwhelming odds.--Reviews in American History