The Civil rights struggle continues, so others may be free

The Civil rights struggle continues, so others may be free June 21, 2024

On June 21, 1964, in Neshoba County, Mississippi, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner were assassinated as they worked for civil rights. They died so others may be free.

Neshoba County sheriff’s deputy Cecil Price assisted in their murders.

During the search for their bodies in July, investigators discovered the remains of eight African American men. Two were identified as Henry Dee and Charles Moore, college students who had been kidnapped, beaten, and murdered in May 1964.

The murder of black Americans in Mississippi was so commonplace that history doesn’t record the names of the other victims.

Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner died so others may be free.
Southern Justice, also known as Murder in Mississippi, by Norman Rockwell.

They died so others could be free.

That summer, racists burned nearly two dozen black churches in Mississippi alone.

Civil rights legislation was passed in 1964 and again in 1968, but those laws were opposed by many at the time and continue to be attacked by racists today.

The white supremacists of 1964 were the grandparents and parents of white supremacists in 2024.

Those today who oppose civil rights — for black people, women, gays, migrants and other marginalized groups — would have opposed the civil rights movement in 1964.

The sickness of racism doesn’t magically cure itself with the passage of time.

Murdered martyrs like Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner must be remembered because the struggle for civil rights in the United States continues so others may be free.

Paul Simon wrote “He Was my Brother” the year before the Freedom Summer of 1964, but it was eerily prescient. He has dedicated the song to his college classmate Andrew Goodman.

He Was my Brother

By Paul Simon

He was my brother
Five years older than I
He was my brother
Twenty-three years-old the day he died
Freedom rider
They cursed my brother to his face
“Go home, outsider,
This town is gonna be your buryin’ place
He was singin’ on his knees
An angry mob trailed along
They shot my brother dead
Because he hated what was wrong
He was my brother
Tears can’t bring him back to me
He was my brother
And he died so his brothers could be free
He died so his brothers could be free

The civil rights struggle must go on, so others may be free.

For other articles about the civil rights struggle, visit:

Civil Rights Activist Jonathan Daniels

The Clark Doll Study Documenting the Damage of Segregation

Martin Luther King. Jr. and the Original Black Lives Matter Movement

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Pastor Jim Meisner, Jr. earned his M.Div. from the oldest HBCU seminary in the United States. He’s the author of the novel Faith, Hope, and Baseball, available on Amazon, or follow this link to order an autographed copy. He created and manages the Facebook page Faith on the Fringe.

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