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  • The July 4th, 1964 picnic at Vernon Dahmer's farm welcomed Freedom Summer volunteers to Hattiesburg, Mississippi.


    Most of the arriving volunteers were whites from the North, and many of them joined with local black activists to set up temporary "Freedom Schools" throughout the state for young African Americans.
  • Many whites in Mississippi resented the visiting volunteers, and made their hostility known through threats and violence.
  • Vernon Dahmer, pictured wearing a hat in the previous slide, is the Hattiesburg activist who hosted the July 4th picnic.


    He was murdered two years after the Freedom Summer by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Visit PBS Black Culture Connection to read more stories about civil rights photographers and the images that changed the world.

    Words and photographs by Herbert Randall, Jr. (From The McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi)
    Produced by Mirissa Neff
    Music by George “Little Hat” Jones (“Bye Bye Baby Blues”), and Charley Patton ("Poor Me")

    Share your own story of standing up for something you believe in.
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