ERIC Number: ED410653
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Education for Activism: Mississippi's Freedom Schools in the 1960s.
Payne, Charles M.
Self-consciously activist education has a long history among African-Americans; however, it is one of the least well-understood aspects of African American struggle. This paper addresses one chapter in that history, the Freedom Schools that operated in Mississippi during the summer of 1964 and for a while thereafter. The schools were the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a coalition of the civil-rights organizations working in Mississippi. From 1961-64, the SNCC and COFO waged a campaign for African-Americans' right to vote. The idea for the schools came from Charlie Cobb, a Howard University student. The schools marked a turning point in the radicalization of the SNCC in that they became part of a larger discussion of parallel institutions. If American institutions would not work for black people, African-Americans would create institutions that would. The Freedom Schools offered traditional subjects that were often unavailable in black schools, such as citizenship and cultural-awareness education. It would be interesting to have some discussion about how one would adapt the Freedom School model to the current time. The need remains for lessons about language and power, black history, the causes and costs of mindless materialism, gender-based oppression, and the linkages between racism and sexism. (Contains 18 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi