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Faces of Freedom Summer: The Photographs of Herbert Randall


The Story Behind the Exhibit

Faces of Freedom Summer, an exhibit featuring 102 photographs taken by Herbert Randall in Hattiesburg, Miss., opens this Saturday, February 22. These powerful images document the struggles and triumphs of Civil Rights activists and disenfranchised African-American voters during the summer of 1964.

Faces of Freedom Summer: The Photographs of Herbert RandallThat summer, students of all races and backgrounds, voting rights organizers, and a coalition of local black residents worked together to secure the rights for all Americans to vote in the South. Among them were three young civil rights workers, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, who were murdered days after arriving to Mississippi.

Herbert Randall became the official photographer for the Freedom Summer project in 1964 when he met Sandy Leigh, director of Freedom Summer. Randall took 1,759 negatives that summer, which he donated to the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998. With the negatives carefully stored at the University's McCain Library and Archives, archivists began a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services called "Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archives" to preserve the images digitally.

Randall's photos were organized into an exhibit, which has traveled across the country since 1999.  Faces of Freedom Summer will be on display from February 22 through August 17, as part of Destination Freedom: Civil Rights Struggles Then and Now.

Learn more about Faces of Freedom Summer here.

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What lessons can we learn from the participants of Freedom Summer to use for causes today?

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