I love thrillers and crime novels but what’s scarier than the history of the United States? My first choice in the “If I can read, you should too” book club is “Freedom Summer” by Bruce Watson. As it’s title states, it is about a dark time in our nations history. A time where Southern African Americans had the right the vote, but to even register to vote meant death. Yeah it was THAT serious.
This book starts off with a bang. Hebert Lee was a average Mississippian black man who, after one day thought enough was enough. He decided to register to vote, a decision he was proud of but had no clue it would lead to his death. Because Mississippi was petty and racist as fuck, they published in the newspaper the name of everyone who registered to vote, HOW CONVENIENT!
In broad day light this innocent man was gunned down by “Mister Hurst” a white man OBVS. This was witnessed by many but all were either too scared or proud of the mans actions to testify against him. Like WTF is this serious. How can people be that cruel? Its just skin color y’all please chill. It just amazes me that this was only like 60 years ago too! This action pissed off many and a few college students up north decided enough was enough.
They organized a group and ventured down to Mississippi to help African Americans register to vote. What was also AMAZING about this program was they started Summer school programs to ACTUALLY teach these kids. Something the Mississippi schools failed to do. Which is CRAZY because “Brown V. Board of Ed” was 10 years prior! These college kids had good intention but little did they know it would become the summer of HELL.
Right off the bat 3 college students were kidnapped and murdered by the local KKK all under the eye of the local sheriff. That was only the start, churches were set on fire, girls followed home every night and the African American families who would host the students would be harassed daily. This book legit reads like a HBO tv series. Every chapter you’re on the edge of your seat! I got chills reading some parts because ITS ALL TRUE!
What’s sick is these colleges kids only experienced a summer of hell. For the Mississippian African Americans this hell was their everyday life. To understand the issues in the African American communities, we have to read books like this. This isn’t a made up story from an authors brain, THIS IS REAL LIFE!
Please check this book out it’s like under $20 dollars on amazon! Message me about it! I wanna gossip about it! Legit this book is so jawing because I’m about the age of these kids. Also if this topic interests you there is mad youtube documentaries and also a movie from the 70’s about it called, “Mississippi Burning”. It kind of white washes the story but gives you a glimpse into how intense this summer was.
Xoxo reading is pretty lit!