Segments in this Video

Freedom Summer Introduction (01:35)


View an archive interview with an African-American leader about Mississippi brutality. In 1964, Civil Rights activists "invaded" the state, risking their lives to fight segregation.

Racially Divided State (01:48)

Activist Unita Blackwell describes what the Mississippi Delta means to her. In an archival interview, a white resident is overwhelmed by desegregation measure..

Citizen's Council (01:44)

The segregation organization was founded in Mississippi in 1954 to preserve white political power. Learn how it dominated the state under Barnett from 1959-1963.

African-American Vote (01:48)

Few black Mississippi residents were registered in 1962. SNCC member Bob Moses discusses the psychology of fear; students were recruited to help voter registration.

Jackson Boycott (02:15)

Learn how Mississippi passed laws to make voter registration more difficult. View footage of NAACP leader Medgar Evers urging black residents not to support local businesses.

Racial Tensions in Jackson (01:57)

In June 1963, students protested the arrests of sit-in demonstrators. View footage of NAACP leader Rev. Smith urging people to register to vote.

Medgar Evers' Assassination (04:22)

Myrlie Evers recalls racial tension leading to her husband's death. He was killed by a Citizen's Council member on June 11, 1963 after the president gave a speech on Civil Rights.

Racial Confrontation (03:01)

NAACP director Roy Wilkins makes a statement about Ever's murder. View footage of his funeral; violent protests were averted and no one was convicted.

Mississippi's Civil War (02:04)

Evers' murder focused national attention on racial injustice. Moses called for "Freedom Summer" in 1964 and urged activists to help education and voter registration programs.

Freedom Summer Training (02:34)

Mississippi police prepared riot gear to resist college volunteers. View footage of workshops preparing black and white students to face mobs.

Freedom Summer Assassinations (04:04)

Students were warned of violence in Mississippi. Learn how the disappearance of activists Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney strengthened their resolve.

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (02:24)

The FBI wouldn't protect Civil Rights workers. Black and white activists risked violence to organize African-American voters during Freedom Summer.

African-American Political Threat (01:21)

Despite fear, 60,000 signed up as members of the MFDP. Citizen's Council members express fears of a second Reconstruction.

Freedom Schools (03:18)

In July 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act- blacks still didn't have the vote. Activists created education and political centers; Mississippi whites were offended by cultural reformation attempts.

Breaking Cultural Boundaries (02:42)

Blackwell recalls working with white volunteers. On August 4, the bodies of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were found.

Civil Rights Accountability (04:42)

CORE member Dave Dennis reprimands the nation for not intervening at Chaney's funeral in August 1964. His murderers were found guilty of civil rights violations in federal court.

Challenging White Political Dominance (02:28)

In August 1964, the MFDP chose African-American delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Member Victoria Gray-Adams recalls their optimism for gaining representation.

Democratic National Convention (02:58)

Two Mississippi delegations arrived in Atlantic City, but only one was seated. MFDP members testify for the Credentials Committee during a televised hearing—cut off by Johnson.

Democratic Party Compromise (03:22)

Johnson feared southerners would desert him if the MFDP were seated. Learn how the Credentials Committee offered them partial representation.

Civil Rights Resolve (02:32)

The MFDP voted against the Democratic Party compromise. Members discuss political factors and share their moral perspective on the issue.

MFDP Protest (01:49)

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party members attempt to take Mississippi Democrats seats at the DNC. Their attendance empowered African-Americans politically.

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Mississippi—Is This America? 1963–1964: Eyes on the Prize—America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954–1985

Part of the Series : Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954–1985
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Mississippi’s grass-roots civil rights movement becomes an American concern when college students travel south to help register black voters and three activists are murdered. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party challenges the regular Mississippi delegation at the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL58636

Copyright date: ©1994

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.