In this video segment from Iowans Return to Freedom Summer, participants reflect on the impact of the 1964 Freedom Summer. In that year, hundreds of predominantly white college students participated in voter registration efforts, taught in freedom schools and worked in community centers in towns throughout racially segregated Mississippi. Volunteers believed they raised awareness of the voter rights infractions in the South and demonstrated that it was possible to make positive changes on civil rights issues. By bringing attention to these issues and increasing pressure from the general public, the federal Voting Rights Act was signed into law in August of 1965.
Check out the entire Experiences of the 1964 Freedom Summer Volunteers Collection.