Mississippi, America : legal battles of the freedom summer

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  • In the summer of 1964, a handful of Mississippi attorneys issued a nationwide call for assistance as they struggled to defend imprisoned civil rights activists. This classic documentary examines the work of local and out-of-state lawyers who answered the call. Through archival footage and riveting eyewitness accounts, the film illuminates the legal dimensions of the frontline battle for African Americans' right to vote. Interviewees include civil rights attorney William Kunstler; U.S. Congressman and former SNCC activist John Lewis (D-Georgia); National Lawyers Guild Mississippi Project director George Crockett; and Dr. Aaron Henry, former Mississippi NAACP president.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on Sept. 05, 2008.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.


  • Mississippi 1964: Battle for Black Voter Rights (2:36) -- Mississippi Resists Voter Reform (2:01) -- Voter Registration: Mobilization of Black Mississippians (2:47) -- Out-of-State Lawyers Come to Mississippi (2:09) -- White Voters vs. Civil Rights (2:04) -- Black Lawyer Volunteers for Civil Rights Work (2:20) -- National Lawyers Guild vs. NAACP (2:27) -- First Civil Rights Cases in Mississippi (5:28) -- Non-Violent Sit-In Protests Influx of White Lawyers (4:42) -- Lawyers Battle Segregation in Mississippi (2:54) -- Volunteers Risk Arrest to Bail Out Others in Mississippi (3:38) -- Mississippi: Police and KKK in Collusion (3:28) -- 1965: Voting Rights Act (2:23) -- Political Institutions Conspire to Keep Blacks from Congressional Representation (4:26) -- Mississippi Redistricting Unravels (2:16) -- Black Elected Officials in Mississippi (2:21) -- Grassroots Organizations vs. Mississippi's Political Machine (3:10) -- First Black Woman Law Graduate (3:04)
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