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Chaney, James Earl

b. 1943 - d. 1964

James Chaney was one of three civil rights workers murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi during the 1964 Freedom Summer. A native of Meridian, Mississippi, Chaney had joined the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to help organize voter registration efforts after participating in Freedom Rides. With Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman he had gone to investigate the fire-bombing of Mt. Zion Methodist Church, site of a Freedom School. They were arrested on their way home, released and abducted by the Ku Klux Klan. The FBI led the investigation. Eighteen white men were charged with violating civil rights but not with murder. Eleven were acquitted or their cases ended in mistrials and seven convicted on federal conspiracy charges and sentenced 3 to 10 years. Not until 2005 was Edgar Ray Killen found guilty of manslaughter.

Associated Archive Content : 5 results

Bayard Rustin Statement on Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney

Baynard Rustin notes the recent violence against three Negro male volunteers in the voter registration drive. Mr. Rustin describes the death of these men as acts that violate the "constitutional rights" of the Negro people. In the hopes of Mr. Rustin, this occurence will initiate a new force of the nonviolent movement.

Letter from MLK to Joel Crittenden

Dr. King responds to Joel Crittenden's concern about white hatred toward Negroes by making two points: 1) some whites have given their lives in the freedom struggle, and 2) hatred and violence must be met with love and nonviolence.

Letter to President Johnson about the Murder of Jonathan Daniels

This letter from Keene, New Hampshire to President Johnson is in response to the murder of Rev. Jonathan Daniels, an Episcopal seminary student from Boston. Daniels was born in Keene. The letter mentions other murdered civil rights workers, condemns Southern justice and calls upon the President to introduce legislation permitting federal investigation and prosecution of racial violence.

Primer For Delegates to the Democratic National Convention

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party informs citizens of the mistreatment incurred by African Americans attempting to register to vote and participate in election process. The Party also outlines its journey to sending 64 delegates to the Democratic Convention of 1964 and how President Johnson denied them seats at the Convention.

Transcript of MLK's Rally Speech in Yazoo City, Mississippi

In this transcript of Dr. King's speech to the citizens of Yazoo City, he addresses the issues of poverty and racism within the state. He explains that while Mississippi is a in a "terrible state," it can be improved through the use of the principles of nonviolence to help bring about social change.