On Thursday, July 17th at noon join Panhandle PBS and Amarillo College's Common Reader Program for a 25-minute segment of the American Experience documentary, Freedom Summer, along with an opportunity for attendees to share their own thoughts and stories on the 2014-15 AC Common Reader topic of moral courage. Panhandle PBS studios at 2408 S. Jackson on AC Washington Street Campus. Bring your own lunch; lemonade will be provided.

Freedom became goal in summer of '64

by John Kanelis

"Freedom Summer" tells the story of brave young Americans who ventured into deeply segregated Mississippi to demand change. They sought to pressure state and local authorities to end policies that discriminated against black Americans.


Did they effect immediate change? Hardly. Instead, they bought themselves a lot of pain, they shed a lot of blood -- and some of them gave their lives.

Three young men particularly became the synonymous with the struggle that ensued. Their names are James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Mention the names "Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner" today to anyone in Dixie old enough to remember the turbulent summer of '64 and you'll get knowing nods of approval or, sadly, disgust at what the men tried to accomplish during that "Freedom Summer."

They were kidnapped and killed by Ku Klux Klansmen. It would take decades to bring their killers to justice, but they eventually were tried and convicted.

American Experience tells the compelling story of brave young Americans who ventured where they weren't welcome, but who eventually could declare victory with the enactment of civil rights laws that changed the face of nation.

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