History 102/Professor Swiontek
Paper #2 Assignment


Topic: Freedom Summer (Chapter 26):
The Mississippi Freedom Summer Project attempted to highlight and rectify the political disenfranchisement of African Americans in the Jim Crow South. Civil rights activists began with a statewide voter registration drive, but ultimately mounted a challenge to Democratic Party leadership at the Atlantic City convention in August of 1964. In your opinion, did Freedom Summer succeed in accomplishing its goals? Why or why not?

In answering this question, consider the following:
What were the specific goals of Freedom Summer? Its broader goals?
What parts of the project succeeded? What parts failed? How and why?
What changed in Mississippi and in the United States as a result of the project?

To prepare for the essay, examine the “Interpret the Evidence” questions at the end of the Document Project. Be sure to read the introduction to the Documents Project and the individual introductions to the primary sources for context.

Source requirements:
Lecture notes
Examining American Histories
At least three (3) documents from the Documents Project
Todd J. Moye, Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 2004), Chapter 5 (pp. 119-147)

Length: 4-5 pages (1,000 – 1,250 words)

Format: Typed, double-spaced, standard 12-point font, page numbers, footnotes following the Chicago Manual of Style. Your name, paper title, and the word count must appear on the first page. The paper must be written in Google Docs.

Due: To Moodle — both the paper assignment and — by 11:00 pm on due date (see syllabus for specific date). Hard copies will not be accepted. Papers turned in after these times will be considered late and will not be graded. Computer problems and other technical issues will not be accepted as excuses.

NOTE: You must write the paper in Google Docs and submit the url link to Moodle and upload the file to If you submit a different file type and changes the formatting of the paper (i.e., eliminates the footnotes, etc.), you will lose those points on the paper, regardless of what the original document was like.
Use of Sources (20 points) – You must have at least
three paraphrased citations from the textbook (EAH)
two citations from lecture
at least one direct quote from at least three documents (total of three direct quotes)
two citations from book chapter (Let the People Decide, Chapter 5)

You must use evidence from all three kinds of sources to support your argument. This score will be based on both quantity of citations and quality of source usage.

Analysis/Content/Critical Thinking (30 points) – I am primarily interested in your ideas, argument, and analysis. Remember, historians form opinions based on evidence.

Quality of Writing (10 points) – You must write in grammatically correct English. Papers with excessive type-os or extremely poor grammar will be penalized. Proofread! Run spell-check!

Organization and Structure (10 points) – Poor organization and structure can interfere with the reader’s ability to understand your argument. Pay attention to how you organize your paper.


Freedom Summer, also called the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project was a 1964 voter registration campaign in the United States aimed at registering as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi.[1] The state had historically barred most blacks from participating in elections. Freedom Summer planning started later in 1963 when the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and civil rights group, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) took the initiative to bring on board white college students from the North to work during the summer in Mississippi. The drive was spearheaded by the local Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a conglomerate of civil rights groups where SNCC was the most vibrant partner. The 1964 project was a culmination of years of earlier work by African Americans who lived in Mississippi brought together by their churches. Freedom Summer helped African-American citizens in Mississippi try to register as voters, establish freedom schools, a political party and raise awareness of their plight to outside world.

[1]Monte Piliawsky,”Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945–1986,” (Book Review), Oral History Review 35, no. 1 (2008): 93-95.