FOREVER: Freedom Summer Murders

Fujicolor Crystal Archive emulsion sealed between solid recycled aluminium and a high-gloss UV protective laminate.
Triptych 40 x 30 inches each panel

JUNE 21–22, 1964. NESHOBA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI

Three American civil rights workers— James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner— travelled to Neshoba County to investigate the burning of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in which several parishioners had been severely beaten. Upon leaving the church, the young men were pulled over. All three were arrested—Chaney charged with speeding, and Schwerner and Goodman were held under suspicion of burning the church that they had just visited. After being held unfairly in the jail, they were released and ordered to leave the county. They were then followed and shot to death by a group of whites that included members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office, and the Philadelphia, Mississippi Police Department. Seven out of 10 men were initially convicted, although none served more than six years in prison. 41 years after the murder, leader of the local Ku Klux Klan chapter Edgar Ray Killen was sentenced to 60 years for manslaughter of the three victims as there was insufficient evidence to charge him with murder.