Indiana University South Bend Archives
1700 Mishawaka Ave. P.O. Box 7111
South Bend, Indiana 46634
Telephone: (574) 520-4392
Creator: Civil Rights Heritage Center
Title: Freedom Summer Collection of the Civil Rights Heritage Center
Extent: Two bankers boxes and two document boxes totaling 3.2 cubic feet.
Beginning in 2000, Indiana University South Bend History professors Dr. Les Lamon and Dr. Monica Tetzlaff offered students a unique and often life changing experience. Students would board a charter bus and, for two weeks, visit some of the people and places in the deep South that made an impact on the United States Civil Rights movement. The idea was to recreate the famous “Freedom Rides” of the 1960s, where Northerners would board busses and protest Civil Rights injustices (e.g. segregated lunch counters) to show solidarity with those Southerners most affected.
Freedom Summer continued every other year until 2008, then again in 2011. Students toured such places as the Lorraine Motel (where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated), the Edmund Pettus Bridge (where African American protestors were met with police dogs and sprayed with fire hoses), the Southern Poverty Law Center, 16th Street Baptist Church, and many others. The trip was considered a credited course, and students were required to read and submit papers detailing their experiences throughout the trip.
Scope and Content Note:
Materials were collected by Drs. Lamon and Tetzlaff when they each ran the event (Dr. Lamon in 2000 through 2004, and Dr. Tetzlaff beginning in 2006 and beyond). The collection contains paper materials detailing the planning, correspondence, acquired marketing materials (e.g. museum guides, maps, etc.), photographs, and notes from the 2000-2011 trips. Materials are organized by the years of each trip, with additional student works, oral histories, and non-paper items (i.e t-shirts and videos) following paper and photographic materials.