Pinback button promoting the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and supporting students participating in Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964. Olympic Button & Emblem Co., New York.
To bring attention to the institutionalized suppression of African American voters in the South, the NAACP and other civil rights organizations recruited students from northern colleges to spend their summer vacations in Mississippi helping to register the largely poor and rural black population, what was billed as Freedom Summer. When the white-controlled state Democratic Party barred blacks from membership, activists formed the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), and sent an all-black delegation to the DNC in Atlantic City. The resulting imbroglio over which delegation would be seated played out on national television, prompting President Johnson to intervene. A compromise was worked out, but was rejected by both sides. The white Mississippi delegation walked out, and the black MFDP delegation staged a protest by taking their empty seats.
This rare button was issued by supporters of the MFDP and students participating in Freedom Summer.