YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – October 1, 2010 – In the closing event of Antioch College’s series on Freedom Summer 1964, Larry Rubin spoke about his work as a field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the legacy of the movement, and the challenges the U.S. still faces when it comes to political and economic equality.
Rubin, a 1965 graduate of Antioch College, served as an SNCC field secretary from 1961-1965. Rubin said spending time in Mississippi during those pivotal years taught him that segregation was never about keeping races apart but about keeping African-Americans and poor whites unequal and disenfranchised.
He described Antioch College as a haven for activists in the movement. Individuals such as Coretta Scott King, a college alumna, would come to Antioch College to speak or for respite. The College also proved fertile ground for young activists to find their voices, he said.
“What Antioch encouraged was individual thought, to take action from where we stand on issues, and that’s why most of us came here anyway,” Rubin said.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the SNCC, one of the major civil rights organizations that marshaled sit-ins, freedom rides and voter registration drives in the long and violent struggle to end segregation in the United States.
The College marked the anniversary with the multimedia exhibition Oh Freedom over Me, a film series and related talks.
Last week, the film series concluded with the Midwest premiere of Neshoba: The Price of Freedom, a documentary that tells the story of a Mississippi town still divided about the meaning of justice 40 years after the murders of young civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.
Rubin has worked in the labor movement for 45 years. He has also been a reporter for the Dayton Daily News. A dedicated Antiochian, he has served on the Antioch College Alumni Board and was active in the recent fight to save the College. He is currently the communications director and Washington D.C.-area political director for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters.
The series on Freedom Summer was organized by Arthur E. Morgan Fellows Anne Bohlen, a former Antioch College professor of communication and media arts, and Jean Gregorek, a former Antioch College professor of literature.
Gariot P. Louima
Chief Communications Officer