PELHAM, N.Y. -- In commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Pelham resident Michael Schwerner and two other civil rights workers, The Picture House will host a free screening of “Freedom Summer” on Sunday, June 22, at 5 p.m.
The documentary focuses on the summer of 1964, when hundreds of students and activists advocated raising voter registration among African-Americans and exposing injustice in Mississippi. Schwerner, along with Andrew Goodman and James Earl Chaney, had gone missing in Mississippi after the first week of training with Mississippi students from the Freedom Summer group, according to PBS.org. The three men were later found dead.
“Freedom Summer,” screening ahead of its June 24 premiere on PBS’ "American Experience," will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with a panel moderated by Lawrence Weschler.
The panel will include Nicholas Lemann, staff writer for The New Yorker and former dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University; John Howard, distinguished service professor emeritus at the State University of New York College at Purchase; and author Weschler, writer of “Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders,” which was shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize in 1995.
The “Freedom Summer” screening will kick off a yearlong commeraoration featuring several events in Pelham. In November, near Schwerner’s birthday, Lemann will deliver a keynote speech. Students from The Picture House Evening Film Club for students in grades nine-12 are working on a film inspired by Schwerner’s efforts and the theme “What Price Freedom?” It’s scheduled to be screened in the fall.
Free tickets for the “Freedom Summer” screening are available online or at the box office at 175 Wolfs Lane.