Film Study Guide

  HISTORICITY

In 1964, propelled by the pending Civil Rights Act, hundreds of inspired northern civil rights activists invaded the South to persuade local blacks to register for the vote. The legion of unwelcome outsiders descending upon Dixie inflamed many southerners who, while conceding the nation-wide legislative power of Congress, held steadfast that voter registration was nobody's business but their own. This quasi-Confederate attitude turned into gruesome action when three such activists mysteriously disappeared late one June evening on a backroad between the two small Mississippi towns of Meridian and Philadelphia.

In June, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and its affiliate, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), launched an ambitious campaign throughout the South to conduct adult literacy classes and assist blacks in moving through the voter registration process. Mississippi was designated to receive the thrust of "Freedom Summer," as it came to be called. There was no tougher battleground than the Magnolia State, both racially and economically. It was the most downtrodden state in the nation, historically notorious among the Deep South alliance for its refusal to accept black equality in any manner whatsoever, not the least of which was the right to vote. Only five percent of blacks living in Mississippi—which comprised over 40 percent of the state's population—had managed to overcome the poll taxes, unfair literacy tests, and threats of terror to register for the vote. It was the lowest such percentage in the country.

Mississippi's post-Reconstruction tradition of terror to maintain black subservience was unparalleled. Between 1880 and 1940, nearly 600 blacks were lynched in Mississippi. No measure of justice was exacted on behalf of the victims in any of these incidents—not only were there no convictions or indictments, but astonishingly, not even a single arrest by state law enforcement officials! In other words, so brazen was Mississippi's refusal to respect civil rights that the state made not even the faintest attempt to camouflage its loathsome actions. Over such a period of time, when so many slayings took place, it's almost impossible to believe that there wouldn't have been a few token arrests, perhaps an indictment here and there, maybe even a couple guilty verdicts with suspended sentences to veil, however thinly, Mississippi's approval of torture and murder to maintain white supremacy. As Mississippi's methodology proceeded unchecked, blacks were subjected to exalted levels of intimidation—loss of jobs for fabricated reasons, unjustified insurance cancellations, sudden jumps in loan interest rates, immediate mortgage foreclosures, and when all else failed, downright violence and unmerciful cruelty.

Among the nearly 1,000 Freedom Summer volunteers were Michael (Mickey) Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, both white New Yorkers, and James Earl Chaney, a black from Mississippi. Schwerner and Chaney were experienced CORE field workers; Goodman was a relative newcomer, though he had previously participated in some civil rights demonstrations in Washington and New York City. All three boys were in their early 20s.

Participants were repeatedly warned of the impending dangers awaiting them in Mississippi. One of the leaders of the SNCC counseled the volunteers: "Mississippi is unreal when you're not there, and the rest of the country is unreal when you are." Another SNCC official issued a much more austere description of the raw conditions in the state: "There's not even a sharp line between living and dying. It's just a thin fuzz."

Sam Bowers, Jr., Imperial Wizard of the White Knights, the most predacious Klan chapter in the entire South, called on members to resist the Freedom Summer workers: "The events which will occur in Mississippi this summer may well determine the fate of Christian civilization for centuries to come." Bowers urged "counterattacks" against "selected individual targets." As a precautionary measure, all workers were instructed to phone their respective CORE offices at regular intervals.

On June 16, hooded White Knights turned Bowers's perscription for war into actual bloodshed. They attacked the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Longdale, a short distance east of Philadelphia. The Klansmen were reacting to reports that the church would host a "freedom school" whereby the congregation would partake in classes—literacy, arithmetic, politics, and history—as well as the county voter registration drive. The assailants were actually hunting for a white northern activist known as "Goatee" who had met previously with church members to initiate the campaign and was believed to be present that day to organize further. The targeted activist's absence did not dissuade the rabid Kluxers from beating several of the parishioners and burning the church to the ground. If the catch could not be made that day, at least some bait could be placed.

The Longdale church arson was not an isolated incident. Some violence had already occurred. There was plenty more to come. Over the summer, project workers suffered 1,000 arrests, 80 beatings, 35 shootings, and 30 bombings of homes, churches, and schools. But the most despicable action occurred just a few days after the Mount Zion Church attack.

On June 20, Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney left the training center at Oxford, Ohio. No doubt during the 16-hour drive to Meridian they talked about the good and the bad—the Senate's approval of solid civil rights legislation a day earlier and the recent attack on the church in Longdale. The boys pulled into Meridian during the early morning hours of June 21, weary from travel, but anxious to begin their work.

After limited sleep and hasty breakfast, Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney proceeded from Meridian to nearby Longdale, where they surveyed the charred remains of the church and questioned witnesses about the incident. On their way back to Meridian, while passing through Philadelphia at about 3:00 in the afternoon, their blue Ford station wagon was stopped by Neshoba County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Cecil Ray Price with assistance, according to some accounts, from a State Patrol car. The trio was arrested on a flimsy speeding charge. When the activists failed to call in by late afternoon (they were denied use of the telephone), the Meridian CORE office suspected foul play and telephoned the jail to inquire about them. Whoever answered the phone (reports differ) denied any knowledge of the boys' whereabouts. The jailhouse was so confined that almost certainly the boys would have overheard the conversation and if not worried up until then, now had good reason to be anxious. At 6:00 that evening, the SNCC state headquarters in Jackson contacted the FBI and the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

The speeding charge was nothing more than a guise. While Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney were detained in jail, area Klansmen were busy making bigger plans. Released from the county jail late that night (they were fined $20 for the speeding violation), the trio drove out of town toward Meridian on secluded Highway 19. They would never make it to Meridian.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately took charge of the case, assigning it the code name of MIBURN. A horde of FBI agents searched the area and quizzed the local folk for clues to the whereabouts of the missing activists. Some 400 sailors from the naval air station at Meridian were brought in to fish the heighboring lakes and comb the countryside for the bodies. The FBI dragged 50 miles of the Pearl River and marched in columns through swamps teeming with venomous water moccasins, pesky chiggers, and biting mosquitoes. The search crews discovered a number of corpses belonging to lynching victims long missing (including that of a 14-year-old boy, wearing a CORE shirt, found floating in the Big Black River), but not those Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney.

The local citizens stonewalled the FBI. Some grumbled about the alleged murders being nothing more than a CORE publicity stunt. There were murmurs that the three rabble-rousers probably got what they deserved. Still others said they "heard" that the boys had just decided to take off and go elsewhere. Certainly there were a few who sympathized with the victims, but it was common knowledge that to offer any assistance in the investigation would have invited trouble from the Klan, and everyone could plainly see what that might result from that. FBI agents conducted 1,000 interviews. No one, white or black, would break the silence.

  DATA

The opening scene of Mississippi Burning shows the Klan murders of three young civil rights activists on a dusty Mississippi road cloaked by darkness of night. The cool, calculated manner in which the redneck murder squad—led by a local deputy sheriff—commits the crimes is almost as chilling as the murders themselves. That much of the movie is true. What follows is considerable Hollywood free-lancing. The film casts Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe as FBI agents Anderson and Ward, respectively. Hackman is a former Mississippi sheriff; Dafoe is a young northern moralist. Together, the pair doggedly pursue the perpetrators, all the time struggling to fashion a workable arena for one agent's firsthand knowledge of harsh southern reality and the other's spirited Kennedyesque idealism.

As one might guess, Mississippi Burning created some controversy. Surprisingly, some of it came from the black community. In the film's opening scene, the two whites (presumed to be Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman) occupy the front seat of the station wagon while the black passenger (presumed to be James Earl Chaney) rides in the back seat. In 1964, Chaney was behind the wheel, owing to his familiarity with the area. This discrepancy, which at first seems but a minor factual flaw, is somewhat indicative of how the movie portrays much of the black citizenry—as bewildered prey to all the arsons and beatings and lynchings that fill the screen. The thinkers and doers seem to be mostly white, villains and heroes alike. In reality, the South was full of black protagonists. Throughout the summer of 1964, rather than bow to the widespread terrorism of the KKK, Mississippi blacks resolutely met at area "freedom schools" like the Mount Zion Church in Longdale. One year after the incident, 85,000 black Mississippians courageously cast "freedom ballots" to show their determination to exercise the vote if given the oppurtunity.

The movie would have its viewers believe the case was solved because of southern integrity revived by a sympathetic female soul (the deputy sheriff's wife, of all people, provides crucial information to authorities) coupled with extra-legal pressure levied by the FBI (a private black operative is whisked into town, in under cover of night, to goad the mayor into betraying the killers). It makes a good Hollywood film, but it just did not happen that way.

There was a guilty white conscience in Philadelphia that summer, but it was not the deputy's wife. It was Florence Mars, a well-to-do white women who was one of the few Philadelphians willing to testify against the Klan before the federal grand jury. (Although she did not provide assistance during the investigation, she did speak out against the murders, for which Mars was dismissed from her Sunday school teaching job.) After the trial, she was subjected to bouts of harassment by both the Klan and local law enforcement officers. In 1977, Mars authored a book entitled Witness in Philadelphia which likened the silence of a southern community embroiled in its devilish work to that of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany during World War II.

And, no unscrupulous thug was imported to coax a confession for FBI agents. Instead, it was the fear and greed of a Klan member that helped the Bureau solve the case. In depicting an FBI force so zealous in its defense of black justice that it resorts to vigilante tactics, the movie creates the impression that the FBI agents behaved like Agent Anderson/Hackman, rampaging without constraint, like their enemy Kluxers, through the Deep South during the 1960s. In truth, the FBI followed policy, as Agent Ward/Dafoe would have preferred.

Finally, after 44 exhausting days, an anonymous Klan informer led authorities to the earthern dam where the three bodies were buried. By now, their tomb was already grassed over due to the heavy July rains. The Klan informant received a $30,000 payoff to do so. It marked the first time in history the FBI had officially offered a reward for information.

Four months later, the sheriff's deputy and 20 others were taken into custody by the FBI. Since murder charges were not then possible under federal law, the onus of prosecution therefore fell on the State of Mississippi. Claiming lack of sufficient evidence and unreliable witnesses, the governor refused to bring such charges, even though FBI officials offered to submit their entire batch of findings and testimony to the state. Exasperated, the FBI had no choice but to settle for the lesser crime of depriving the victims of their civil rights by murdering them. A federal grand jury convened by the Justice Department handed down indictments against 18, deputy included. Even then, Mississippi tried to buck the federal government. The district court judge was William Howard Cox, an ardent segregationsit who had once likened blacks to chimpanzees. He reduced the charge to a misdemeanor, but that action was reversed by the Supreme Court.

After three years of complicated legal maneuvering, seven of those arrested were found guilty of conspiring to deny "life or liberty without due process" of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney. They were given sentences ranging from three to ten years. The verdict marked the first time ever an all-white jury in Mississippi convicted white defendants in a civil rights case. Still, it was a compromise decision. The low number of convictions (well under half the defendants) and relatively mild sentences made the whole affair bittersweet. Among those who eluded a guilty verdict were several individuals who were undoubtedly involved. To believe otherwise is simply naive. In regard to the sentences, the judge remarked, "They killed one nigger, one Jew, and a white man—I gave them all what I thought they deserved." By the time Mississippi Burning showed in theaters, the entire bunch had been released from prison (none served more than six years), almost all of them returning to gainful employment in their respective communities. Over the years, there was no sincere expression of remorse by any of the conspirators. Most of them remained tight-lipped and when they did speak up their comments were belligerent.

The legal injustice was somewhat vindicated four decades later when the State of Mississippi decided to reopen the cases against the surviving conspirators in the Freedom Summer slayings. As a result, Edgar Ray "Preacher" Killen, then 79 years old, was finally convicted of murder. Killen was among the original group indicted, but a hung jury enabled him to escape justice. Although somewhat disappointing because the State had initially planned to prosecute others connected with the 1964 executions, Killen was the most conspicuous of several culprits who were never convicted but surely were involved. The mothers of Goodman and Chaney, Chaney's brother Ben, and Schwerner's widow were all alive to know the outcome.

In a demonstration of solidarity, the parents of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney asked that their sons be buried together. Their request denied because Mississippi state law prohibited integrated cemeteries, Chaney was buried apart from his two comrades. A memorial to the slain activists now stands in the yard of the Longdale church, rebuilt—in brick—two years after it was burned. Mississippi Burning does not at any point mention the names of the three real-life heroes (the closing credits identify the cast members as "Goatee," "Passenger," and "Black Passenger") though the film clearly pays them homage.

Mississippi Burning garnered seven Academy Award nominations, including best picture, in 1989. Hackman and Dafoe, two of Hollywood's finest, do not disappoint. The movie tugs at a host of emotions, and in the end the good guys win—sort of. But viewers must realize that mixed with the film's accurate portrayal of southern racism and dominance of the rural South by the repugnant Ku Klux Klan is vivid drama which markedly deviates from factual events. The movie's scripted departure from reality provides its theater audience with a more absolving, more gratifying version of history than what actually transpired. In other words, viewers see what they wish would have happened in solving the lurid murders, rather than what did happen. David Halberstam, who covered the Freedom Summer for the New York Times, was especially critical of the movie. He called it "Mississippi False." Simply, Mississippi Burning is fiction based on a historical event, but laced with just enough bits and pieces of genuine history to make it a meaningful learning device if viewed in an academically responsible climate. Watch it for what it is, not for what it isn't. The movie is rated R for graphic violence and occasional rough language.

  QUESTIONS
Select the best response for each item according to information learned by viewing Mississippi Burning, as well as through lecture and assigned reading.
  1. The chief objective of the Freedom Summer campaign was to:
    1. register black voters in southern states
    2. elect Democrats to available seats in Congress
    3. provide free transportation to the polls on election day
    4. expose and prosecute members of the Ku Klux Klan who obstructed black voters

  2. All of the following events took place during the same year the Freedom Summer occurred except:
    1. the Warren Commission issued its 888-page report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, wherein its seven members unanimously concluded that although Lee Harvey Oswald's motives are unclear, he likely acted alone when he shot JFK
    2. based on apparent unprovoked attacks by the North Vietnamese on two American destroyers, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution effectively granting President Lyndon B. Johnson the legal license to escalate the Vietnam War
    3. the Beatles arrived in New York City for their first American tour; nearly 5,000 screaming girls were at the airport to greet George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr
    4. for six days, some 10,000 blacks roamed the streets of the Watts district in Los Angeles, resulting in 34 deaths, injuries to countless others, almost 4,000 arrests, and over $100 million in property damages before order was finally restored

  3. Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Earl Chaney were jailed:
    1. because they were speeding
    2. to protect them from area KKK thugs reportedly prowling for them that evening
    3. because with Chaney in the back seat, and considering the fact that he was a local boy, law enforcement officials initially thought he was being abducted by two white rednecks (Schwerner and Goodman in the front seat)
    4. to allow local Kluxers time to organize the boys' fatal ambush which would take place later that night

  4. The bodies of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Earl Chaney were eventually recovered:
    1. beneath stacks of hay in the loft of an abandoned barn
    2. in their station wagon dumped in a swamp
    3. buried in an earthen dam on a nearby farm
    4. laying in a roadside ditch near where they were murdered

  5. In time, eight people were convicted in the Freedom Summer incident on charges of:
    1. first-degree (premeditated) murder
    2. kidnapping and extortion
    3. several relatively minor charges (such as aggravated assault, battery, and harassment)
    4. depriving the victims of their civil rights (by murdering them)

  6. The role of the FBI in solving the murders of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Earl Chaney, and more generally, in upholding civil rights in the South, is most accurately described as:
    1. immediate concern and zealous pursuit of justice
    2. lukewarm participation in the crime investigation and halfhearted effort extended toward protecting civil rights
    3. anxious to solve the murder case, but apathetic toward any civil rights violations
    4. virtually no substantial interest in either finding the guilty party or guarding civil rights

  7. The least realistic character portrayal in Mississippi Burning is that of:
    1. FBI agent Anderson (aka agent John Proctor), who broke the case by squeezing a confession from one of the participants
    2. Mrs. Pell (aka Mrs. Price), the deputy sheriff's wife, who volunteered important details of the crime to the FBI
    3. Sheriff Ray Stuckey (aka Sheriff Lawrence Rainey), who was not directly linked to the killings, but almost surely had ample knowledge of them
    4. Clayton Townley (aka Sam Bowers, Jr., the Imperial Wizard of the White Knights chapter of the KKK), who boldly admonished his passionate southern brethren to resist northern intervention and maintain white supremacy

  8. The organization formed in 1909 by William E. B. Du Bois and others for the purpose of obtaining black equality and abolishing segregation is the:
    1. SNCC
    2. NAACP
    3. CORE
    4. NCAA

  9. The Supreme Court case which essentially struck down segregation in public schools by disavowing the "separate but equal" doctrine is:
    1. West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)
    2. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
    3. School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp (1963)
    4. Tinker v. Des Moines Public Schools (1969)

  10. All of the following were sites of heated race-related events during the 1950s and 1960s except:
    1. Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas
    2. the Dixie Hotel lobby in Macon, Georgia
    3. Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama
    4. the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina

  11. American society during the 1960s was characterized by:
    1. affluence and social fragmentation
    2. patriotism and racial unity
    3. conformity and economic prosperity
    4. political concensus and social stability

  12. Soon after his elevation to the White House, Lyndon B. Johnson boasted that "civil rightsers are going to have to wear sneakers to keep up with me." In truth, LBJ's presidential record on civil rights is best summarized as:
    1. enactment of sweeping civil rights legislation granting the federal government new powers to fight segregation
    2. congressional opposition, especially by southern die-hard segregationists, crippled attempts to extend the solid civil rights successes of the Kennedy administration
    3. few lasting positive results in spite of excessive government spending to enact measures and frequent use of federal troops to force action
    4. emphasis on increased educational opportunities for blacks, but failure to address economic concerns

  13. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 accomplished all of the following except:
    1. granted the Justice Department expanded powers to deal with school segregation
    2. made racial discrimination in public outlets (such as restaurants, hotels, and theaters) illegal
    3. empowered federal authorities to monitor each state's voter registration process
    4. allowed the national government leverage to curtail funding to any state which employed racially discriminatory practices

  14. All of the following statements were made by leaders of the black community during the 1960s civil rights movement except:
    1. "The common enemy is the white man."—James Meredith
    2. "...the greatest problem confronting this country today is not pollution and bad breath."—H. Rapp Brown
    3. "I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi...will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice."—Martin Luther King, Jr.
    4. "Our only hope is to control the vote."—Medgar Evers

  15. The major contrast between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X was:
    1. whereas King rose to prominence from relative poverty, Malcolm X's background was one of wealth and privilege
    2. the base message of Malcolm X was political whereas King's focus was strictly religious
    3. whereas King urged peaceful means to achieve racial equality, Malcolm X endorsed much more aggressive tactics
    4. Malcolm X's major arena was affluent white communities of the North and West whereas King targeted black audiences throughout the Deep South

  16. By the mid-1960s, the highest percentage of America's blacks lived in:
    1. large cities
    2. small towns and rural communities
    3. suburbs of major metropolitan areas
    4. lakefront property and condominiums near fitness clubs and golf courses

  17. The statement which best reflects the findings of the Kerner Commission regarding inner-city unrest culminating in riots such as that which occurred in the Watts district of Los Angeles during 1965 is:
    1. "interracial violence is rooted in deteriorating urban conditions (poverty, unemployment, and poor schooling) and hatred of white police as symbols of authority"
    2. "heated racial problems are confined to regions of the country that had been heavily involved in slavery"
    3. "violence usually results from friction between white police officers, often racist, and black youths; hence, stronger commitment to law and order is needed to prevent racial violence"
    4. "no government action, presently authorized or conceivably hopeful, could effectively alter the racial tension in America because it has become so deeply and irreversibly ingrained during the course of an entire century of events"

  18. "The stated purpose of this group, formed in 1966 in Oakland, was to protect the ghetto blacks against 'police harassment.' Claiming to be opposed to violence except in cases of 'self-defense,' this organization affected a paramilitary stance, wearing similar attire and prominently displaying guns. Its leadership labeled the existing American system 'racist, fascist, and imperialist.' Its members often clashed with police." The radical group described is the:
    1. Black Berets
    2. Nation of Islam (aka Black Muslims)
    3. Black Panthers
    4. Negro League

  19. Like Paul B. Johnson, Jr. of Mississippi, all of the following were outspoken segregationist governors except:
    1. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina (1947-1951)
    2. John Connally of Texas (1963-1969)
    3. George Wallace of Alabama (four various terms during 1963-1987)
    4. Lester Maddox of Georgia (1967-1971)

  20. "When the American flag was raised and The Star-Spangled Banner played, each of the participants closed his eyes, bowed his head, and raised a black-glove-covered fist to form the 'Black Power salute.' But there was more than the gloves. One of the men later explained that he extended his right fist in the air to represent black power in America while his partner's left raised fist indicated unity in black America. Together, therefore, the two protestors formed an arch of unity and power. Their shoeless feet and black socks were meant to portray black poverty in racist America. One man wore a black scarf around his neck to symbolize black pride while his friend wore a string of beads to commemorate black people who had been lynched." The incident described, which shocked America in 1968, occurred at the:
    1. funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta
    2. Summer Olympics in Mexico City
    3. federal court's sentencing of seven Ku Klux Klan members found guilty of murdering three Freedom Summer activists in Mississippi
    4. stormy Democratic National Convention in Chicago marked by brutal "police riots"

  21. All of the following "Motown Sound" hits of the 1960s and 1970s reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 except:
    1. "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by Stevie Wonder
    2. "You Can't Hurry Love" by Diana Ross & the Supremes
    3. "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" by the Four Tops
    4. "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

  22. The prologue to Mississippi Burning (the drinking fountain scene) is illustrative of:
    1. the "separate but equal" doctrine
    2. Jim Crow laws
    3. the Harlem Renaissance movement
    4. "affirmative action" measures

  23. One episode of Mississippi Burning briefly shows a Major League Baseball game broadcast on television. (Actually, baseball games were not televised at night in 1964.) According to the game announcer, heard in the backgound as the movie scene progresses, the St. Louis Cardinals are leading the New York Mets 4-2. Pitching for St. Louis is Bob Gibson, whose record-setting career led to his induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. The player credited with breaking the color barrier in professional baseball—paving the way for great players like Gibson to show their stuff—is:
    1. Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs
    2. Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants
    3. Elston Howard of the New York Yankees
    4. Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers

  24. In years following the Freedom Summer affair, the State of Mississippi did all of the following except:
    1. honored the request made by the parents of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney to have their sons buried near each other
    2. made an immediate astonishing leap in black voter registration
    3. became embroiled in controversy concerning display of the historic Confederate flag at Ole Miss football games in Oxford
    4. reopened the case, pursuing murder charges against those individuals still alive who were believed to have been involved in the slayings of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney

  25. The movie Mississippi Burning is best described as a/an:
    1. story based on an actual event, but containing numerous historical flaws
    2. utter fabrication, even though it is set in a real historical era
    3. film produced with great attention to total historical accuracy
    4. somewhat reliable account of a true historical incident


  EXTENDED RESPONSE
Choose one of the following. Your response should be 3-5 typed, double-spaced pages and include a list of sources used (minimum of two required).
  1. Describe two ways in which each of the following entities has affected the cause of civil rights since 1900—the presidency; Congress; the Supreme Court; state governments; public organizations.

  2. Discuss the various forms of white resistance to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Which tactics were the most effective in slowing the drive toward racial equality? How did the black community counter those tactics?

  3. Select any two of the following and describe the impact of each on the post-World War II civil rights movement—Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954); arrest of Rosa Parks; integration crisis at Central High School in Little Rock; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech; "Freedom Summer" campaign of 1964; Civil Rights Act of 1964.


"We're going to see that the law is maintained,
and maintained Mississippi style."



Click here to learn more about the Freedom Summer incident in Mississippi.