Goodman, Andrew

Andrew Goodman (1943-1964) was a participant in the Freedom Summer movement of 1964.  He originally got his start in the civil rights movement after graduating from Walden School.  He was from the Upper West Side of New York; however, he left New York to train and improve his activism skills at Western College for Women.  At age 20, in June 1964 he took his talents down to Meridian, Mississippi, to help register blacks to vote.  This was a danger for all involved due to community and government members strongly opposing granting this right to blacks.  Furthermore, some of those who were opposed to granting blacks the right to vote and equality were willing to stop anyone involved in the movement by any means necessary.  Through the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, spies were paid to give information about civil rights organizing.  The Commission was especially interested in out of state activists. 

Less than 24 hours after Goodman arrived in Meridian, he went with fellow activists James Chaney and Michael Schwerner to investigate a church burning and violent beatings of church membersin Neshoba County. As they were preparing to leave the area and return to Meridian, the three men were pulled over by local police for a supposed speeding violation. They were taken to a jail in Philadelphia MS but were released later that evening, only to be chased down and murdered by klan members, who had been alerted by local law enforcement about the young men’s release and route back to Meridian. The murderers buried the bodies in an earthen dam in Neshoba County, where they were discovered on August 4, after a federal investigation.

See also “The Murder of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner”