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Evaluate Doug McAdams methodology used in this book. Before discussing the methodology of “Freedom Summer” it is important to first know what the author was trying to accomplish. The author attempts to explain by using the 1964 “Freedom Summer” program how and why individuals get involved in high risk political situations and how their actions can profoundly affect both their professional and personal lives. In order to accomplish his goal the author Doug McAdam obtained the original movement volunteer application forms for the “Freedom Summer” program.
He then used them to track down all of the people known to have signed. He then differentiated which of those people attended or passed on the campaign that occurred in Mississippi that summer. Not only did he endeavor to find out the reasons behind their support of the cause. But also how such decisions affected their future lives in terms of politics, jobs and interpersonal relationships. Additionally he attempts to debunk the myth that the people born in that time have left behind their eclectic ways and adopted modern conveniences.
As well as discussing the important assistance given by the volunteers but is careful not to celebrate their assistance. Many of whom, he found had not adjusted to life in the outside world after the movement ended. In doing this study the author has given a new fresh perspective on racism and the pursuit of civil rights in the 1960s. He has done this in a way that is not only accessible to the general public but also provides academically sound information. Supplementing his work he has also included the SNCC incident list in the appendix.
This list gives the readers a brief overview of what the people involved in this crusade had to deal with in terms of harassment and violence. 2. Why was Bob Moses an effective leader? The most important factor that made Bob Moses an effective leader was his unwavering dedication to the civil rights movement. The passion that he had for the cause is immediately apparent when we considered the sacrifices the man made in his life to join the movement. He not only left behind a teaching position and a very promising career but also moved to Mississippi.
At the time the state of Mississippi had African Americans were living below the poverty line. His previous experiences as a teacher along with his natural skills enabled him to bring several new volunteers into the Civil rights fold. He founded several communities filled with volunteers for the movement. That and his unwavering dedication to the campaign not only brought him the favor of those under him but also elevated him in the eyes of his peers. He was instrumental in bringing together several groups that were working towards civil rights. Creating links between them so that they could function as a unit.
Not only did the man have an excellent understanding of the problems that were facing his people. He also has the will and ingenuity to change them. He was the main person responsible for bringing together the freedom summer movement. His charisma and genuine care for the people under him created a fierce loyalty among those who followed him. So much so that even the threat of death did not deter them. Even after being arrested and going to jail during the Freedom Summer project the activists continued to follow him as he began to initiate political change.
3. What were the consequences of Freedom Summer? The freedom summer project, though not as successful as originally intended, did succeed however in registering 1600 black voters at the Mississippi court house. Although the number of voters was not at the level it was originally intended. The campaign did have an important effect on the civil rights movement. The persecution and harassment of black voter was also called into question in the media. Although this was mostly due to the fact that three white supporters were murdered.
It still created an environment where the barriers that existed between the two races began to break. The networks that were created between different communities and volunteers helped move the civil rights movement forward even after the freedom summer project ended. Eventually they brought together the elements that would create the Mississippi freedom democratic party. Nearly 80,000 black voters joined the party showing support for the cause. It also created a number of voluntary summer schools also known as freedom schools.
These schools did not adopt the nature of Mississippi’s underfunded and segregated school system. But rather they accepted students of all races, teaching more than 3,500 of them. They taught several subjects normally not taught at the local schools such as black history and civil rights. In fact much of the curriculum was structured around the students rather than being pre-planned. This syllabus was instrumental in aiding the formation of the Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party. References McAdam, D. (1990). Freedom Summer. New York: Oxford University Press.