The Phenomenal Women of Freedom Summer

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Officers of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee listen as Stokely Carmichael, right, new chairman of the organization, describes integration as a "subterfuge for white supremacy" at a news conference in Atlanta, May 23, 1966. At the table with Carmichael, from left to right, are: James Forman, outgoing executive secretary; Cleveland Sellers, program secretary; and Ruby Doris Smith Robinson, new executive secretary of SNCC. (AP Photo/Horace Cort) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Over a 10-week period, 1964's Freedom Summer brought together nearly 700 student volunteers, local residents and other civil rights activists to work to ensure that African Americans in Mississippi could exercise their right to vote. But without the tireless work of these seven dedicated women, the movement as we know it wouldn't have been the same. On the 50th anniversary of this important piece of the civil rights movement, we celebrate their brave—and many would argue, phenomenal—contributions.

Read the whole story at The Root