“Freedom Summer” Volunteers

“On June 21, three project members, James Chaney, an African American from Meridian, Mississippi, Andrew Goodman, a white student from New York City, and Michael Schwerner, another white New Yorker and the oldest of the group at twenty four, on their way from investigating a church burning, were arrested by a deputy sherrif in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and then released on a deserted road into a Ku Klux Klan ambush. Klan members killed all three and hid their bodies.”

– Joshua Freeman, Pg. 193


The killings of these three “Freedom Summer” volunteers by the Ku Klux Klan members represents a time in American history where there were growing differences between the youth and older generations. It showed how the divide resulted in violent clashes that unfortunately cost the lives of these individuals. As more groups such as the “Freedom Summer” emerged, made up of young teenage college students, there was a greater push from the older generation to regain order and ban such institutions. Joshua Freeman likely referenced such a forgettable moment in history to demonstrate how serious the problem of generational divide was beyond what people heard of or saw.