Julius Lester - "The Folk Singer"

Julius Lester was teaching guitar and performing as a folk singer in New York City when he decided to go to Mississippi during Freedom Summer. Lester tells of his role in energizing the people gathered at those meetings and setting the stage for the organizers who called the crowds to action. He also reflects on the ever-present danger for participants. Freedom Summer premiers June 24, 2014.

My American Experience

My American Experience photos

Share Your Story

Whether in politics or popular culture, civil liberty or civil rights, 1964 saw a lot of change. What event or set of events do you think had the biggest impact on the year, on American society, or on America as we know it today?



  • Additional funding for this program was provided by

  • Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
  • NEH
  • Yawkey Foundation
  • DIG: Robert & Marjie Kargman and the Brian A. McCarthy Foundation (Freedom Summer)