In June of 1964, three idealistic young men (one black and two white) were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. Read more...
In June of 1964, three idealistic young men (one black and two white) were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. They were trying to register African Americans to vote as part of the Freedom Summer effort to bring democracy to the South. Their disappearance and murder caused a national uproar and was one of the most significant incidents of the Civil Rights Movement, and contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
THE FREEDOM SUMMER MURDERS will be the first book for young people to take a comprehensive look at the brutal murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, through to the conviction in 2005 of mastermind Edgar Ray Killen.
- ISBN-13: 9780545477253
- ISBN-10: 0545477255
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: April 2014
- Page Count: 256
- Reading Level: Ages 14-17
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Mitchell (A Red Woman Was Crying) commemorates the 50th anniversary of the murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi who died helping African-Americans register to vote. A recount of the brutal slayings of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan opens the book. The narrative then rewinds to the upbringing and family lives of the three young men (two white and one African-American), while final chapters recap the long road to justice for their killers (a state trial resulted in the conviction of the suspected mastermind just nine years ago). Archival photos are included throughout, including a jarring image depicting the victims' partially buried bodies, discovered two months after the men went missing. Mitchell (Driven) concludes that it wasn't just "racist thugs" to blame for murdering the men. Rather, "they were killed by institutionalized racism that in 1964 permeated every aspect of Mississippi's legal, political and social order." Vignettes profiling other courageous civil rights figures connected to the case wrap up this extensively researched page-turner. A must-read in any young adult study of the civil rights era. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)