In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, there has been a good deal of media coverage, and rightfully so, about the brave women and men who put themselves in harm’s way to fight racial injustice. But even after those legendary bus trips, and Brown v. Board of Education seven years earlier, racial inequalities were still deeply entrenched throughout the South in the mid-’60s. At the time, Mississippi, for instance, spent about four times as much on education for white students as for black students.
That’s when the first Freedom Schools were created, evolving out of a grassroots movement to help African-Americans achieve social, political and economic equality. In addition to basics like reading and writing, students were educated in leadership and activism, particularly in regards to voter registration. Jon Hale, assistant professor of education at the College of Charleston, will speak on the history and legacy of the Freedom Schools in Mississippi (where they were most prominent), and how they served as an effective model for many programs used today. Seating is limited; to register, email email@example.com.