ROCK SPRINGS – In the final event of its “Created Equal” film and discussion series, which began last academic year, Western Wyoming Community College and the Hay Library will host a screening of the acclaimed 2014 documentary “Freedom Summer,” which chronicles the perilous activities undertaken by student civil rights activists in Mississippi during the summer of 1964, when hundreds of volunteers traveled to the state to register disenfranchised African-American voters.
The film begins at 7 p.m. in Room 1302 and will be followed by a discussion led by Assistant Professor of History and Political Science Jessica Clark, Ph.D. This event is free and open to the public.
“Freedom Summer” is the latest documentary by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, who previously directed another acclaimed film about the Civil Rights Movement, “Freedom Riders,” which screened at Western last April. In his new film, Nelson looks at the organized effort to bring African-American voters to the polls in Mississippi amidst intimidation and violence aimed at the voters themselves and at the volunteers, including many students, who were trying to help them.
Some activists, including civil rights leader Medgar Evers and three student volunteers, were murdered for their efforts, with Evers’s killer later being acquitted by two all-white juries before a third trial decades later sent him to prison for life. “Freedom Summer” tells of the triumphs and tragedies of that dangerous season in what many activists considered the most oppressively segregationist of all the Southern states.
Western Wyoming Community College is proud to present this film screening and discussion as the concluding program of its year-long “Created Equal” discussion series, which considers important events related to the pursuit of justice and civil rights throughout American history. This event is sponsored by Western and the Hay Library, along with the Arlene and Louise Wesswick Foundation, the National Endowment for Humanities, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Bridging Cultures.