Freedom’s Cost: Children and Youth in the Black Freedom Struggle

History/African American Studies/American Studies

At the center of the mass civil rights movement, children and youth dominate. They were on the frontlines in battles against adults determined to deny them access to the opportunities the nation boasted. "Freedom’s Cost" considers the intersections of youthful activism and trauma through the lens of the mass civil rights movement at local and national levels by addressing activism’s personal and communal costs. Topics range from school desegregation case studies, children of activists, and student activists.

My research partner will hone historical archival skills by mining the collections at the Schlesinger and the Black Women’s Oral History Project for evidence of trauma and activism and the role of black children, particularly in the Boston movements. Tasks will include taking inventory of the sources; taking notes; creating timelines; finding and researching other primary and secondary materials and even possible interviewees. As we progress, our work may involve conducting oral histories with local veterans.