In 1963, black citizens of Mississippi had been disenfranchised for years. Earlier attempts to register to vote had been met with intimidation and reprisals. As more efforts were made to register voters, the state decided to withhold food and other aid from poor rural areas, which was especially devastating to the black community during a difficult winter. The arrival of popular comedian Dick Gregory with a plane full of supplies brought media attention and public scrutiny. The resulting publicity helped spark the idea for what would become known as “Freedom Summer,” as seen in this video from American Experience: “Freedom Summer.” This resource is part of the American Experience Collection.
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