Freedom Riders Youth Summit

In all, about forty students from the Meridian area took part in the youth summit, which attracted students from all over the U.S.

They learned about Freedom Summer 1961 when hundreds of young black and white Freedom Riders were arrested in Mississippi and beaten in other states for trying to desegregate interstate travel.

Six months after the rides started, interstate travel was desegregated.

In reflecting on the past, some local participants said they've learned how to better prepare for the future.

"It tells me I can do anything I want, if I just believe in it," said Aaliya Miller.

"Like, if we have sisters, we should teach them their alphabet and stuff instead of teaching them rap songs, because teaching them rap songs can teach them an early way to go to juvenile," said Amber Brookshire.

"I feel like we have the power to do anything we want to do now," said Jaamal Elkins.

The man who organized the trip for local students to attend the summit is Roscoe Jones. He's now spearheading an initiative called the Freedom 64 project.

With a focus on youth, Jones says the project's mission is two-fold.

"To understand the history, and secondly, to understand themselves," said Jones. "Because if you don't know where you came from, you don't know where you're going."

Jones says this week's youth summit is just one of many upcoming events planned for project participants.

The Freedom 64 project is open to all young people. For more information, you may contact Roscoe Jones at 601-692-3825.

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