Lillie Burney Students Win Freedom Summer Writing Contest - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Lillie Burney Students Win Freedom Summer Writing Contest

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Dozens of Lillie Burney fifth graders are learning about the Freedom Summer of 1964.

They got a chance to write it in a contest.

Fifth graders Blake Johnson and Jonathan Keys said they learned things they never knew before about their history.

"We were beaten, and we couldn't vote," Jonathan Keys said. .

"A lot of groups that fought so that blacks and other races could vote," Blake Johnson said.

"They were judging people by their skin type," Keys said. "Blacks fought and some of them got killed just so we can vote and we can be free."

they are two winners of the freedom summer writing contest.

The students were joined by the Forrest County Chapter of the NAACP and city leaders to honor the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1964 Freedom summer.

"The road the struggle has been hard," said Clarence Magee, president of the local NAACP chapter. He shared his experiences with the students.

"I went on my own to get registered to vote," he said. "We were sort of like the old foot soldiers."

Magee said important for younger generations to understand the sacrifices of their ancestors, Johnson says he does.

"Now when I get older I'm able to vote," he said.

Next week a reenactment march will be held on Jan. 22 in Downtown Hattiesburg, the anniversary of Freedom Day.


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