Richard Beymer Freedom Summer Collection
Scope and Contents
Two DVDs of the film A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer, one version is considered by Beymer to be “a cleaned up version.”
- Creation: 1964
- Beymer, Richard, 1939- (Person)
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
Richard Beymer born February 20, 1939 from Iowa is best known for his work in films such as West Side Story, The Longest Day, and The Diary of Anne Frank. Beymer also starred in the televisions series “Twin Peaks.” In 1964 Richard Beymer was a Freedom Summer volunteer in Mississippi and made the film A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer during his time in Mississippi.
This film was featured in the PBS series, “Eyes on the Prize” and won the Best Documentary Award at the Mannheim (Germany) Film Festival. The film portrays orientation sessions in Oxford, Ohio; the murders of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi; Freedom Schools and community centers; voter registrations attempts by African Americans; and scenes from the daily lives of African Americans. It also features voiceovers by local people and Freedom Summer volunteers.
1 Folder (2 DVDs)
Language of Materials
Comprised of testimonials from volunteers and black residents, A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer consists of rare and historically significant footage of segregated Mississippi against a backdrop of virulent racism. Violence haunted Freedom Summer from the beginning. On June 21, one week after the first volunteers arrived for training, three activists—James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner—had disappeared. The FBI conducted a massive search and found their corpses two weeks later.
A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer also includes footage of the Freedom Schools, which provided instruction to more than 3,000 black students. The schools directly challenged Mississippi’s segregated education system by offering instruction on black history and constitutional rights. Portraying the intimate relationship between teacher and student, Beymer’s film includes interviews, class instruction, and sing-alongs.
It is these scenes, showing the warmth and camaraderie between the volunteers and local residents, which form the heart of A Regular Bouquet and reveal a vision of shared humanity and compassionate community.
See External Documents link below to view an online version of the film.
Richard Beymer, received March 14, 2006.
- Richard Beymer Freedom Summer Collection
- Collection processed and finding aid written by Amanda Abulawi
- March 13, 2019
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository
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