The time came when Moses and other organizers felt that it would be good
to involve the rest of the nation in the struggle for freedom in Mississippi.
The Movement would not be able to progress without national recognition
and support. Ideas passed through the community for a while, and eventually
the organizations agreed that involving northern students in the movement
would be the most effective way. The idea for this type of a project spread
throughout the north, spurred on by growing concern over the national
news stories of violence in Mississippi. Moses traveled throughout the
state, discussing the possible ways in which they could approach the project.
There was some opposition to the idea from people who believed that the
only way to freedom was for Black people to attain it themselves. This
idea eventually gave way, however, to a demand for exposure. There was
a general consensus that by opening up the state to outside forces, the
state's politically isolating forces would be abolished and destructed.
At first, Moses was conflicted about the prospect of the project, but
he decided in the end that the ultimate goal justified the means. He continued
to hold true to his beliefs that the unifying force and organization of
the Movement should come from the Black people of Mississippi.
The planning and organization of the Freedom Summer
Project of 1964 immediately got underway. Close to a thousand students
from northern universities and colleges were recruited as volunteers to
come to Mississippi for a summer and worked with voter registration organizations.
The students stayed in hostiles and with Black families while in Mississippi
and quickly became the subjects of great persecution and hatred. The volunteers
were generally sons and daughters of wealthy, influential white northerners
hoping to do some good in the world. Their idealistic views of life were
put to some very harsh realities once they arrived. While the students
were greatly effected by their time in the South, they also dramatically
effected the progress of the Movement, allowing the voter registration
process to multiply significantly. Their work over the summer produced
precisely the intended effect, it produced a whole generation of Americans
dedicated to the political and economic freedom of Blacks in the South.