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116 Freedom’s Journal (McComb, MS) With the help of local activists including NAACP members C. C. Bryant and E. W. Steptoe, McComb was one of the first places where SNCC gained a foothold. The McComb Freedom’s Journal helps demonstrate the importance of African American history to the Freedom School students. As in other schools across the state, McComb Freedom School students were anxious to position themselves within the longer African American freedom struggle and honor black heroes from the past. As explained in this issue of the Freedom’s Journal, McComb Freedom School students named their paper after America’s first black newspaper , which was originally published in New York City in 1827. Although the editors of the McComb paper inaccurately credited Richard Allen as the editor of the original Freedom’s Journal (the first editors were actually John B. Russwurm and Samuel Cornish), they clearly wanted to pay homage to the pioneering African American publication. Besides adopting the name of the nation’s first black newspaper, the producers of the McComb Freedom School newspaper also modeled their cover illustration after the classic abolitionist symbol “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” Their attention to black history is evident throughout each issue of this newspaper. McComb Freedom School students were significantly impacted by their community’s short but powerful tradition of youth activism. As one of the first SNCC projects in Mississippi, McComb was home to a courageous group of young African Americans who in 1961 had staged a walkout of their city’s Burglund High School after fellow student Brenda Travis was expelled for trying to integrate a local bus stop. This highly visible and courageous protest helped set the tone for future youth activism and three years later continued to influence McComb Freedom School students. One of the veterans of the 1961 Burglund walkout, Curtis Hayes, even wrote a guest essay in an issue of the McComb Freedom’s Journal. The essays and poems published in this newspaper illuminate the ways McComb Freedom School students were claiming leadership Freedom’s Journal (McComb, MS) 117 roles in their community and even challenging older residents who they felt were not active enough. July 24, 1964 Dedication We are naming our newspaper Freedom’s Journal in honor of Reverend Richard Allen. He was editor of the first Negro newspaper and we are proud to borrow from him the name of that paper.We have in mind Allen’s plans to help solve the problem of slavery in America. We feel the need to continue the work done by this great man because: too long the public has been deceived by the aims of many American organizations; too long the things that rightfully belong to us are not given; too long others have done our speaking for us. It is our earnest wish to express our true feelings about Mississippi and its people in our journal. Dorothy Brown Isn’t It Awful? Isn’t it awful not to be able to eat in a public place Without being arrested or snarled at right in your face? Isn’t it awful not to be able to go to a public library and get an interesting book Without being put out and given a hateful look? Isn’t it awful not to be able to sleep peacefully nights For fear you may get bombed because Freedom’s Journal (McComb, MS) 118 you want your rights? Isn’t it awful not to be able to get your schooling where you please? Just because of our race, color and creed we cannot feel at ease. Edith Moore Freedom’s Journal Editor: Barbara JoAnn Lea Editors of the week: DorothyVick,Edith Moore,Jacqueline Nobles. Staff Members: Bernell Eubanks, Thelma Eubanks (cover), Georgia Patterson, Sandra Thompson, Gloria Jackson, Paula Moore,Steve Sephus,Sue Sephus,Dorothy Brown,Marionette Travis, Melvin Carter, Donald Tate, and others. Ministers and Freedom Project There used to be a time when Negro Mississippians were filled with doubt as to whether other people from other places cared enough to help them. From our talk with the Rev. Don McCord and the Rev. Harry Bowie we now know differently. When asked about FREEDOM in Miss. the Rev. Bowie stated that“a man who isn’t free is a man who is dead.He is like a robot: he moves, walks, talks and breathes, but still he is dead.” Rev. McCord made a comparison between Berlin and Mississippi . He said, “Berlin is a city...


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