April 25th, 2020

The History of Black Freedom Schools in the 1960s

After Brown v. Board, many schools were still segregated and led to many student movements organizing and fighting for true integration in Northern Cities like Chicago, Boston, and NYC. The first examples of Freedom Schooling were created in the North as an alternative space for students to go to during boycotts in 1963 and 1964. One of most prime examples of Freedom Schooling were the Freedom Schools created by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Mississippi.

Freedom Schools provided an educational experience for young Black Mississippians to challenge the myths of society, find alternatives to the segregated and racist white supremacists society, to understand the conditions of their oppression, and to create directions for actions in the name of Freedom.

There were three general areas for the curriculum of Freedom Schools. One was academic work, which centered around the needs/or interests of the students that incorporated their real life experiences and learning about Black History or understanding the structural institutions. There were also creative activities such as writing, journaling, or arts. The last area was on developing leadership skills and helping students be a part of the change in society.