19th January 21
Mark Levy joined Y13 historians (via Zoom) to talk about his experiences during the Freedom Summer.
“Mark Levy was a volunteer in the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 and he spoke to us because we’re learning about Civil Rights and Race Relations in the USA. It was interesting to find out about the complexity of the Civil Rights Movement which is not always shown in history textbooks.
What really stood out to me was what he said about the local people in Mississippi who let white volunteers into their homes. They had never had a positive experience with a white person and yet they were brave enough to let them in, even though the volunteers could leave later on, but the local people had taken a lifetime risk.
Details like the fact that Bayard Rustin organised for 80,000 cheese sandwiches to be made to feed the protesters on the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom added to the stories.
Learning about the Freedom Summer was useful as many of us are focusing on this for our coursework. His talk really helped me understand the importance of the local people and grassroots organisations in shaping the CRM. Textbooks tend to concentrate more on legislation and the role of the President.”
Hannah W, Y13