Freedom Summer, also known as the the Mississippi Summer Project, was a 1964 voter registration drive sponsored by civil rights organizations including the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Aimed at increasing black voter registration in Mississippi, the Freedom Summer workers included black Mississippians and more than 1,000 out-of-state, predominately white volunteers. The Ku Klux Klan, police and state and local authorities carried out a series of violent attacks against the activists, including arson, beatings, false arrest and the murder of at least three people.
Herbert Randall was a freelance photographer who was persuaded by the director of the Mississippi Summer Project, to travel to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to document members of the African American community as well as volunteers in their effort to assist with black voter registration in the South.
Only five of Randall’s photographs were published that summer, and the rest sat in a file for nearly 40 years until he donated his negatives to the archives of The University of Southern Mississippi. When their documentary value became known, the photographs were publicized in the book Faces of Freedom Summer: The Photographs of Herbert Randall.
There is also a performance piece based on this exhibit which will be presented at Greensboro Project Space on February 16th.