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Christopher Wilson Freedom Summer Collection

 Collection
Identifier: M508

Scope and Contents

This collection contains personal correspondence (1964) between Mr. Wilson and his parents. It also contains fundraising materials generated by Mr. Wilson’s parents, including correspondence from donors. Others materials include newspaper clippings, canvassing materials for SNCC and MFDP, and educational materials designed to overcome obstacles designed to prevent African Americans in Mississippi from voting in elections.

Included in the collection are blank voter’s registration forms, a blank SNCC volunteer application, a roster for California Workers of COFO, and other materials related to efforts to end discrimination of African Americans in Mississippi.

Dates

  • circa 1960–1965
  • circa 1983–1998

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

During the summer of 1964, student volunteers from across the United States descended on Mississippi in a concerted effort to register African Americans to vote. Christopher Wilson, a student at Stanford University at the time, worked in Hattiesburg with the local chapter of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) and with the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), the organization that oversaw efforts by the various civil rights groups. Mr. Wilson’s political activities extended outside of the state, however, when he attended the Democratic State Central Committee of California meeting and spoke to the committee members. Partially as a result of Mr. Wilson’s speech at the meeting, the Democratic State Central Committee of California passed a resolution urging the recognition of the MFDP delegation by the Democratic National Convention of 1964. In addition to Mr. Wilson’s activism, his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wilson, worked in California to provide support to their son and the other volunteers from California.

Extent

.90 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

By genre, with material in folders arranged chronologically.

Provenance

Christopher Wilson

In 2014, Mr. Christopher Wilson attended the Freedom Summer Fiftieth Anniversary Reunion, and offered to donate to Special Collections the materials he and his father have preserved from Mr. Wilson’s experiences as a volunteer with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The collection includes materials associated with Mississippi Freedom Summer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. The collection encompasses the mid- to late- twentieth century. The donation was made to the University of Southern Mississippi Department of Manuscripts and Archives in the McCain Library and Archives of the USM University Libraries system.
Title
Christopher Wilson Freedom Summer Collection
Author
Processed by USM SLIS graduate student, Lynn Cowles
Date
Summer 2017
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

Contact:
118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001
601.266.4345