So died these men as became Athenians

James Chaney’s mother, Fannie Lee Chaney, and his brother, Ben Now, having moved through a discussion of a number of musical responses to the Freedom Summer murders, I’d like to go back to “ThoseThree Are On My Mind,” and think through some distinctions that may help us understand best where … → read more

Songs of Freedom Summer

“Those Three Are On My Mind” was one of several songs born out of the tragic killings in Neshoba County, Mississippi in the summer of 1964.  It’s hard for me to say whether it’s the best known, but was the first one I heard. In some respects, this kind of … → read more

Folksinger’s field report: August 5, 1964

Pete’s Seeger’s musical memoir, The Incompleat Folk Singer, includes the following entry for August 5, 1964.  I hope he’ll pardon me for quoting it in its entirety, but I think it informs our conversation here about music, tragedy, and political change quite well.  “Those Three Are On My Mind,” which … → read more

Those Three Are On My Mind

“Southern Justice (Murder in Mississippi)” by Norman Rockwell Freedom Summer Next week, June 21st to be exact, will mark the 48th anniversary of the day that civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman were murdered in Mississippi, as they participated in “Freedom Summer,” an initiative to expand … → read more