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Remembering Mississippi Freedom Summer Paperback – April 3, 2015
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About the Author
Charles O. Prickett was born in Carbondale, Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois for his undergraduate degree in philosophy and math. He earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois, attended Syracuse University, earned a J.D. Degree from the University of New Hampshire (Franklin Pierce Law Center), and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Charles has worked many different jobs, from carpenter and plumber and mechanic, to professor and public school teacher. He is currently an attorney in Santa Rosa, California and has been a Pro Tem Judge in Small Claims and Traffic Court for over 30 years.
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Not a slick journalistic book, you will find some repetition, but the book has a character no journalist could give it: authenticity. Prickett was a white civil rights worker in the trenches, and he tells the story as only someone could who participated in that transformative struggle for justice.
It is hard now to imagine that law abiding citizens should have to fear the sheriff for working to register voters, bringing literacy to children and adults, and helping farmers connect to federal farm programs. Prickett and his coworkers, black and white, had every reason to sweat when they saw a deputy. Certainly the sheriff was unconcerned to stop Molotov cocktails from being tossed at their houses and meeting places.
In short, the book recounts a vital and heroic part of our history by someone who lived it.
As a civil rights activist, Charles Prickett met, shared with Dr. Martin Luther King, and marched on the Selma-Montgomery protest.
The intriguing appendices in the book include Dr. King’s speech, “I Have a Dream”, samples of literacy tests used to keep black citizens from registering to vote in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. There is also the shocking written confession of Horace Barnette on the killing of three civil rights workers in 1964.
This is a must read for people to would like to be exposed to realistic history.
Read about the realities of southern life and the changes the Civil Rights workers and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, brought to the house that racism built. It shows some Americans at their best and others at their worst. An interesting adventure of one man and a worthwhile read for the very disturbing picture of the Jim Crow laws in America that it gives.
This book allows you to see from his eyes, the injustices of the South and the barricades that were thrown in the faces of the Blacks as well as those who had come to help. It allows you to feel kinship and understanding toward those who suffered the injustices because of the color of their skin. It allows you to gasp at the length and difficulty of the examples he included of the, "Sworn Written Application for Registration" or the "Alabama Literacy Test" which were timed tests,and would serve as a challenge to today's readers,
It allows you to cry at the description of the living conditions of the South and the deaths of Goodman, Schwerman, and Chaney, three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964. However, it also allows you to feel proud of the dedicated individuals not only in Mississippi,but all over the country who began to sing, "We Shall Overcome." The Mississippi Freedom Summer, by Charles Prickett is a heartfelt summation of a time in history that needs to be remembered. I am thankful for people like Charles, who continue to open my eyes to causes in their lives, so candidly and passionately.