Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A history of the Mississippi Freedom Schools, 1954–1965
by Hale, Jon N., Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009, 257; 3363131
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a history of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools. The primary research questions ask why and how the Freedom Schools developed in Mississippi during a social movement for civil rights. As such, this dissertation reconstructs the story of local people working for freedom. Through archival research, secondary source analysis and oral history, this dissertation examines the history of the Freedom Schools from the perspective of the students and teachers who participated in the schools. This history identifies the main points of the political, economic, social and educational history of Mississippi between 1954 and 1965 in order to explain how the Freedom Schools developed within a framework of local people working to challenge segregationist policy in the Deep South. While reconstructing this history, another objective of this project is to complicate the popular narrative framework that is often used to tell the story of civil rights in Mississippi. This history has revealed that communities subject to segregationist policy and political disenfranchisement used education as a means to freedom. The legacy of the Freedom Schools is observed in institutional educational programs and the values students internalized as important actors in the Mississippi freedom movement. A complete historical, contextual and critical analysis of the Freedom Schools will contribute to educational and freedom movement history because these fields are relatively void of research focused exclusively on the Freedom Schools.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Span, Christopher M.
Commitee:
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Black history, American history, Education history
Keywords: Civil rights movement, Freedom Movement, Freedom Schools, History of education, Mississippi
Publication Number: 3363131
ISBN: 9781109220223
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