A lesson from Freedom Summer: In 1964 and today, power is the issue

Freedom Summer began 50 years ago this season with a terrifying act of oppression. Attorney Martin Popper called it “the first interracial lynching in the history of the United States.” The brutal June 21, 1964 murders of young activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner were committed to send a message. And the murderers—including Ku Klux Klan members—were committed to sending that message in the most clear and impacting way. That’s what a lynching is all about.

Civil rights veterans discuss legacy of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

When the Rev. Otis Moss Jr. registered to vote in Georgia at age 18, he had to take a literacy test that was administered by a man who “could hardly read,” Moss recalled.His father walked 18 miles one day to try to vote in LaGrange, Ga., only to be turned away.  “Every time he reached the voting station, they told him, ’You have the wrong place,’” Moss said. “When he finally reached a station, they told him, ‘Boy, you are a little bit late. Poll just closed.’”Moss was among the veterans of the civil rights movement who spoke Tuesday at a panel discussion on the legacy of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which helped end America’s version of apartheid. They spoke at the annual conference of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of Rainbow PUSH, opened the conversation.