(Excerpted and reprinted with kind permission of Radical Teacher: 1991, "Mississippi Freedom School Curriculum - 1964," Radical Teacher 40, pp. 6-29.)
THE BASIC SET OF QUESTIONS IS:
- Why are we (teachers and students) in Freedom Schools?
- What is the Freedom Movement?
- What alternatives does the Freedom Movement offer us?
THE SECONDARY SET OF QUESTIONS IS:
- What does the majority culture have that we want?
- What does the majority culture have that we don't want?
- What do we have that we want to keep?
UNIT I: COMPARISON OF STUDENT'S REALITY WITH OTHERSPurpose: To create an awareness that there are alternatives.
UNIT II: NORTH TO FREEDOM? (THE NEGRO IN THE NORTH)Purpose: To help the students see clearly the conditions of the Negro in the North, and see that migration to the North is not a basic solution.
UNIT III: EXAMINING THE APPARENT REALITY (THE "BETTER LIFE" THAT WHITES HAVE)Purpose: To find out what the whites' "better life" is really like, and what it costs them.
UNIT IV: INTRODUCING THE POWER STRUCTUREPurpose:
- To create an awareness that some people profit by the pain of others or by misleading them.
- To create an awareness that some people make decisions that profoundly affect others (i.e., bare power).
- To develop the concept of "political power."
UNIT V: THE POOR NEGRO, THE POOR WHITE, AND THEIR FEARSPurpose:
- To indicate that the "power structure" derives its power, in the final analysis, by playing upon the fears of the people - Negro and white.
- To come to an understanding of these fears - what has helped them to produce them and what they, in turn, have produced, namely, the myths, the lies, the system.
- To grasp the deeper effects of the system we have produced and have allowed to continue, the deep psychological damage to Negroes and whites.
UNIT VI: MATERIAL THINGS AND SOUL THINGSPurpose:
- To develop insights about the inadequacies of pure materialism.
- To develop some elementary concepts of a new society.
UNIT VII: THE MOVEMENTPurpose: To grasp the significance of direct action and of political action as instruments of social change.