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Neil Wilson Freedom Summer Collection

Identifier: M631

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of Dr. Neil Wilson’s F.B.I file, which documents some of Dr. Wilson’s activity as a Freedom Summer (1964) volunteer in Indianola, Mississippi. The collection also contains correspondence between Dr. Wilson and the U.S. Department of Justice.


  • 1964
  • 1990

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Neil Wilson was born on January 11, 1932, in New York City and was studying psychology at the University of Syracuse when he traveled to Mississippi during Freedom Summer in 1964. Dr. Wilson traveled to Mississippi with his friend Bruce Thomas and actor Richard Beymer (known for West Side Story). The summer of 1964 volunteers like Dr. Wilson traveled to Mississippi to help register African Americans to vote and establish freedom schools. Dr. Wilson helped with voter registration in Indianola, Mississippi, and was a part of the group that attempted to fight the segregation of public spaces by trying to integrate the Honey Theatre.

According to the file in the collection, on September 6, 1964, Dr. Wilson and a group of twenty African Americans and whites went to the Honey Theatre in Indianola, Mississippi to integrate the theatre. The theatre had two ticket lines, one for whites and one for African Americans. When the group arrived, the African Americans stood in the line meant for whites, while the white volunteers stood in the line for African Americans and they were refused admission. While there was no incident at the theatre, the group was later arrested several blocks away from the theatre for “refusing order of policemen” and they were sent to a county work farm. Dr. Wilson requested his F.B.I file in 1990 and out of the twenty-three-page file, only seven pages were released with redactions. The correspondence in the collection contains Dr. Wilson’s appeal to the Department of Justice to release the rest of the file. After Freedom Summer, Dr. Wilson received his Ph.D. in psychology and became a psychoanalyst.


1 Folder (4 items)

Language of Materials



FBI file of volunteer in Indianola, Mississippi.


The contents of the collection are arranged in the order in which they were received.


Donated by Dr. Neil Wilson on April 9, 2001.

Related Materials

M336 Matthew Zwerling Freedom Summer Collection

M351 Herbert Randall Freedom Summer Photographs

M371 Raymond Shonholtz Freedom Summer Memoir

M537 Richard Beymer Freedom Summer Collection

M581 William “Bill” G. McAtee Civil Rights Collection

M608 Paul Terrell Freedom Summer Collection


• Case File

• Contents from the collection

Neil Wilson Freedom Summer Collection
Collection processed and finding aid written by Amanda Abulawi
29 June 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001