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Student Writing from Freedom School Newspapers

These short pieces, written by young people, appeared in newspapers published by Freedom Schools in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in the summer of 1964. These Freedom Schools were part of a larger effort that summer, organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) that brought hundreds of college students from around the country to Mississippi to register African-American voters and help black Mississippians gain their civil rights.

Priest’s Creek July 23, 1964 number one St John’s

The Darkness of the Negro Students

Some of the Negro students have been complaining about their teachers. They said their teachers do not give any information about the freeing of their people. The information given to them was false. They teach only what the white man wants us to hear. We have been taught that the white man was responsible for the abolishing of slavery, but that is false. What about the Negro abolitionists?

We have been taught that when the Negroes were free they were helpless. But this is false because they helped themselves by building houses and raising crops.

The reason for my coming out of darkness is by attending Freedom Schools. At this school both sides of the story are told.



Published by the students of the Meridian Freedom School


My aim in life is to be a lawyer. There are not enough Negro Lawyers in Mississippi defending their fellow brothers and sisters. Some people living in Mississippi leave after or before they finish school. I do not see myself in some fancy mansion nor do I see myself living in the scums of places. I just want to live in a decent home living in the neighborhood with people. When I say people I mean both black and white. I do not believe in Segregation. I want to help people. To stop this police brutality. I see myself as a decent, respictable citizen. I want to be a nice person. And I would like for people to treat me the same way. If I do be a lawyer or whatever my profession will be, I will not marry until I finish school, grade and law school, and have a job. I mean a good job. Not babysitting and house keeping.

No I do not plan to leave Mississippi. To help others. I want to look as well as be respectful. Although looks don’t mean everything. It’s what you know. It’s the work that you do and your aim in life. If you lead a good clean life, people will respect you no matter how you look.

With this closing I will say that “I will strive to do the best that I can.”


Source | "Excerpts of Student Work," Freedom School Curriculum, from Education & Democracy,
Creator | Unknown
Rights | Permission to use this document was obtained from Education and Democracy. See Education and Democracy to obtain permission to republish or use this document for anything other than non-commerical educational purposes.
Item Type | Newspaper/Magazine
Cite This document | Unknown, “Student Writing from Freedom School Newspapers,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed March 22, 2023,

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