Fifty years ago, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, over 17,000 African Americans attempted to register to vote in the state of Mississippi. Only 1,600 of the applications were accepted by local registrars.
That kind of disenfranchisement was well understood in the rural south, but for the mostly white, mostly northern volunteers who came to Mississippi in the summer of 1964, the segregation and oppression they experienced there were eye opening.
We talk to two Vermonters who were Freedom Summer volunteers- Gail Falk and Penny Patch- about their experiences then, and what the civil rights movement means fifty years later.
Gail Falk is one of several Vermonters featured in the book Letters From Mississippi, which includes letters written home by Freedom Summer volunteers.
Broadcast live on Tuesday, July 8 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.