Risking Everything Exhibition

18 Sep

Washington University Libraries Film & Media Archive presents a traveling exhibition from the Wisconsin Historical Society on Freedom Summer, Risking Everything. Through September 29, visitors can see the exhibit on Level One of Olin Library featuring materials selected from over 1,100 boxes of unpublished papers created by individual activists, community groups, and national organizations.

 Confluence Preparatory Academy students tour the "Risking Everything" exhibition in Olin Library.


Confluence Preparatory Academy students tour the “Risking Everything” exhibition in Olin Library.

The Wisconsin Historical Society also has a companion website for the exhibit that contains more detailed explanations and over 30,000 digitized primary documents and photos that can be viewed in their original context. All documents are from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s online archive of Freedom Summer records.

 Rudolph Clay, African & African American Studies Librarian, and Urban Studies Librarian speaks to students from the Confluence Preparatory Academy. — at Washington University Libraries - Olin Library.


Rudolph Clay, African & African American Studies Librarian, and Urban Studies Librarian speaks to students from the Confluence Preparatory Academy. — at Washington University Libraries – Olin Library.

Gathered during the mid-1960s, this collection is an incredible rich source of primary documents created by volunteers with the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC) and other activists who were engaged at the grass-roots level in the deep South during Freedom Summer. After Freedom Summer graduate students Bob and Vicki Gabriner, and Mimi Feingold Real who were studying at the University of Wisconsin saw an opportunity to create an archive that would document the extraordinary things they had seen and experienced working in the South. For more on the history of the collection, see this article.

 Confluence Preparatory Academy students tour the "Remembering Mississippi Freedom Summer" exhibition in Olin Library. — at Washington University Libraries - Olin Library.


Confluence Preparatory Academy students tour the “Remembering Mississippi Freedom Summer” exhibition in Olin Library. — at Washington University Libraries – Olin Library.

The Freedom Summer Records are a perfect companion to the Film Archive’s Henry Hampton Collection and the recently acquired Richard Beymer Collection both of which also have many primary source interviews, photographs, film, and documents relating to Freedom Summer.  An exhibit of material from these two collections, Remembering Mississippi Freedom Summer can be viewed in the Grand Staircase Lobby & Gingko Room in Olin Library through October 25.

These three collections focus on activists and volunteers who may not have been famous but who were the backbone of the movement, including Amzie Moore, Unita Blackwell, Victoria Gray Adams, and the numerous students, volunteers, and courageous residents who dared to register to vote.

 

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