Fifty years ago, students from colleges and universities across the United States traveled to the Deep South in an effort to organize voting rights drives in what became known as Freedom Summer. The effort was concentrated in Mississippi. It was dangerous work. Three civil rights workers were murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan in June 1964.
The University of Iowa is mounting an oral history project to collect the experiences of those members of the university community who participated in Freedom Summer. The university has identified 11 individuals who were involved and there may be more. Bambi Brown was arrested at a voting right demonstration in LeFlore County. Steve Smith was pistol-whipped by police and arrested in Canton.
Anyone with more information on University of Iowa participants in Freedom Summer can contact the university library’s archives and special collections unit here.