Young political activist: Madison, Miss. By Jonathan Gainer, 16
In Mississippi, the summer of 1963 was a violent one — 30 black homes and 37 black churches were firebombed, and more than 80 civic activists were beaten. The following summer, about 40 Freedom Schools were opened, dedicated to creating "an educational experience for students which will make it possible for them to challenge the myths of our society, to perceive more clearly its realities, and to find alternatives — ultimately new directions for action," in the words of founder Charles Cobb. Though the program floundered through the years, it was reborn in 1992 with the support of the Children's Defense Fund.