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Ed King's Mississippi - Behind the Scenes of Freedom Summer

Ed King's Mississippi

Behind the Scenes of Freedom Summer

By Ed King & Trent Watts
Hardcover : 9781628461152, 150 pages, 42 b&w photographs, October 2014

An extraordinary photographic documentary from behind the scenes during the struggle for civil rights


Ed King's Mississippi: Behind the Scenes of Freedom Summer features more than forty unpublished black-and-white photographs and substantial writings by the prominent civil rights activist Reverend Ed King. The images and text provide a unique perspective on Mississippi during the summer of 1964. Taken in Jackson, Greenwood, and Philadelphia, the photographs showcase informal images of Martin Luther King Jr. , Andrew Young, Mississippi civil rights workers, and college student volunteers in the movement. Ed King's writings offer background and insights on the motivations and work of Freedom Summer volunteers, on the racial climate of Mississippi during the late 1950s and 1960s, and the grassroots effort by black Mississippians to enter the political arena and exercise their fundamental civil rights.

Ed King, a native of Vicksburg and a Methodist minister, was a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and a key figure in the civil rights movement in the state in the 1960s. As one of the few white Mississippians with a leadership position in the movement, his words and photographs offer a rare behind-the-scenes chronicle of events in the state during Freedom Summer. Ed King is a retired faculty member of the School of Health Related Professions, University of Mississippi Medical Center. Historian Trent Watts furnishes a substantial introduction to the volume and offers background on the Freedom Summer campaign as well as a description of Ed King's civil rights activism from the late 1950s to the present day.


"No account of the civil rights struggles in Mississippi would be complete without recognition of the significant role played by Rev. Ed King. This homegrown, Millsaps-educated, Methodist minister was arguably the most unyielding and outspoken white man in the state in support of the efforts to end racial segregation and discrimination. His heroic work brought him social ostracism by the white community and, indeed, almost cost him his life. This book provides an extraordinary collection of photographs taken by Rev. King in the summer of 1964. The volume affords us an amazing insight into the experiences and reflections of a very brave man."

- William F. Winter, fifty-seventh governor of Mississippi