"All my life I've been sick and tired. Now I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." - Fannie Lou Hamer
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a campaign to open the polls to African-American voters in Mississippi, which became a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights era. The summer marked a turning point in ending white supremacy in the state and decades of isolation in the Deep South for black voters ahead of the 1964 elections. Commentator and Murray State history professor Dr. Brian Clardy reflects back on Freedom Summer and its legacy 50 years later.
This week, the University of Tennessee at Martin hosts "Freedom Summer: Fifty Years Later." It's their 14th Annual Civil Rights Conference featuring keynote speaker Mr. Dave Dennis, who participated in the first Freedom Bus ride from Montgomery, Alabama and in voter registration efforts during the 1964 Freedom Summer. Today, he works as the director and CEO of the Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project, a nonprofit that aims to improve mathematics education for minority children. UTM Department of History faculty member Dr. Renee LaFleur is coordinator for the conference and speaks with Kate Lochte about its events on Sounds Good.