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103 The Freedom News (Holly Springs, MS) Published during the first full week of Freedom School classes, The Freedom News from Holly Springs was one of the first Freedom School newspapers produced during Freedom Summer. The vibrant Holly Springs Freedom School met in two small houses located just across the campus of Rust College, one of the nation’s oldest historically black institutions of higher learning and the alma mater of black journalism pioneer Ida B. Wells. Some of the teachers were housed in the Rust dorms. When Holly Springs Freedom School classes ended at 4 p.m. on weekday afternoons, local organizers hosted adult literacy classes, allowing people of all ages to attend the Holly Springs Freedom School. Reports out of Holly Springs indicated a powerful Freedom School experience for both students and teachers. One of the Holly Springs teachers wrote that “[t]he atmosphere in class is unbelievable. It is what every teacher dreams about—real, honest enthusiasm and the desire to learn anything and everything.”80 One of the regular students was a twenty-five-year-old wife and mother who often stayed after classes to practice writing extra essays, passionately striving to improve her literacy and grammar while making an immense impression on her teachers. Many of the younger Freedom School students were just as impressive and particularly inspired their teachers by writing and performing a play based on the life of Mississippi civil rights activist Medgar Evers. July 8, 1964 The Three Who Are Missing How do we as Negroes feel about the freedom workers coming into Mississippi is a question many are asking. After asking many of my friends and neighbors I have heard them say “It’s a miracle” or “at least our prayers are being answered.” To us this is one of the most wonderful things that has happened since we were actually freed from slavery. We know these people didn’t The Freedom News (Holly Springs, MS) 104 have to give up their precious time and come here to help us and we know that they are here because of love. Love not only for us, but also because they love the United States. They know that before the United Stares can have the respect of other countries it must also have the respect of its own people, both Negro and white. Masthead of the Holly Springs The Freedom News. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society. The Freedom News (Holly Springs, MS) 105 When we heard about the three freedom workers missing, we were hurt, but not shocked because many of our people have come up missing and nothing was said or done about it. Ever since I can remember I have been told of such cases from my people,but never have I heard it said on the news or over the T.V. or radio. This was known only to a few of us, not nation-wide. X Even though most of us have given up hope about the three freedom workers, we are praying they will be found alive. The freedom workers have the blessings and prayers of the Negroes in Mississippi.We will be forever grateful. By Dolois Polk How We Feel about the Three Missing Boys The news just suddenly broke out as a shock. The people were scared and angry, saying “Why would any person want to take the lives of the three boys.” The people in the country were scared and some were even scared to come to town. I feel sorry for those boys and I think they should be found. The missing boys were a shock to some. The white wasn’t so sad. They found their station wagon. It was burned. Some people think they are dead. Some say the police are not looking as hard as they should be and most people think they cut them up in little pieces and threw them in the river. By Frances Lee Jeffries Marshall County, Mississippi Holly Springs is located in Marshall County. It is inhabited by 28,000 people of which 2/3 are Negro. The town of Holly Springs has a population of 5,321 people.Most of the Negroes in Marshall County live outside the town,and their main occupation is farming . The main crop is cotton. The Freedom News (Holly Springs, MS) 106 Most of the farmlands and plantations are owned by the white men. On the farm there are two things to choose from: sharecropping or renting. On...


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