This June was the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the campaign organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1964 to recruit (mostly white) college students from the North to volunteer in the South during the summer. The students were there to organize for civil rights, but they were also there to help bring national attention to the abuses against African Americans in the South. Several commemorations of the 50th anniversary have happened this year across the country, and we timed our trip to be able to attend an anniversary conference in Mississippi, held at Tougaloo College in Jackson from June 25th through June 29th.
On our way to Mississippi, we had stopped in Snow Hill, Alabama, to pick up Michael's good friend Donald Stone. Michael and Stone both worked with SNCC (though not in Mississippi) and the conference offered an opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues and friends.
In addition to the standard conference agenda, the event included a book fair with authors of books on Mississippi civil rights movement topics and performances by the Freedom Singers.
Also attending the conference was Dr. Robyn Spencer of Lehman College, who interviewed both Michael and Stone about their anti-war organizing.