The Eulogy, “Freedom Summer” clip 17


Bruce Watson: In Mississippi, a memorial service
was held for James Chaney. Dave Dennis: The decision had been
made by family members and local leaders and others that they wanted to keep this very
quiet and then low key, rather. I did the eulogy. Dave Dennis (archival): I want
to talk about is really what I really grieve about. I don’t grieve for Chaney because of
the fact that I feel that he lived a fuller life than many of us will ever live. I feel
that, he’s got his freedom, and we’re still fighting for it. Bruce Watson: Dave
Dennis’s speech was a turning point in the summer because everybody wanted him to say
the usual things that you would say at a funeral. And Dave Dennis just couldn’t do it. He challenged
the people at the memorial, and he challenged the whole movement. Dave Dennis (archival): You see
we’re all tired. You see I know what’s gonna happen, I feel it deep in my heart when they
find the people that killed those guys in Neshoba County… Dave Dennis: All the different
emotions and things I’d been going through, leading up to this particular moment. Began
to come out, boil up in me, might call this. And then looking up and seeing
Ben Chaney. James Chaney’s little brother. I lost it. I totally just lost it. Don’t bow down any
more! Hold your heads up! We want our freedom now! I don’t want to have to go to another
memorial. I’m tired of funerals. Tired of it! We’ve got to stand up!

16 thoughts on “The Eulogy, “Freedom Summer” clip 17

  • His little brother crying broke my heart. Such evil, and if they didn't repent and turn from their wickedness I trust now they wished they would of.

  • I don't think I need to see a documentary about southern racism. I don't think I need to see a documentary about economic oppression or the suppression of civil rights. All I had to do was look into the face of Dave Dennis as he was giving his eulogy to see what the affect  of brutal tyranny can do to the human soul. In his face I saw the entire horror of segregation and discrimination perpetrated on one group of people. "We must live together as brothers or die together as fools." Martin Luther King.

  • Every time I hear him say "don't bow down anymore" I get this heavy feeling in my chest…terrible that humans had to go through this suffering.

  • Ben Chaney's crying is so heart breaking. I'm in my 40's now and of course I wasn't alive during this era but I've always been interested in black history, from slavery and Jim Crow to the Civil Rights movement. As a child, about the age Ben was in this clip, I remember seeing a documentary of Ben Chaney at the funeral and that picture has never left me. The obvious agony in his heart as the tears flow down his face, yet he stands there and sings "We shall overcome" with his head held high. Seeing that made the story and the people involved real for me and urged me to want to know as much as I could about those young men, who sacrificed their lives to make a difference and a change for people that they had never met.

  • In my 61 years, same age as Ben, I can't recall ever seeing someone shed tears with the heartbreak & pain that young Ben showed over the loss of his older brother.

  • Up till today , KKK is still operating in the American soil
    I'm telling everyone this now, Government is the real KKK so stay woke

  • what a sickening feeling watching ben chaney . what must he be like 5 years old hearing his older brother has been murdered by KKK and corrupt police officer. These people paid the ultimate price for the freedom of today not just black people but white people locked by by the manacles of this racism ,. they all paved the way for foundation for the opportunitys we have today .

  • what is more sickening is the confession only came out of a klan member after fbi bribed them with 30k cash . Without the money nobody would of come forward to do the right thing for the murder of those 3 civil right workers

  • rip chaney , goodman and schwerner all though there will be haters and racist comments around vids of this topic. . you paid the highest price for the secured freedom off your future generations. if only people these days had as much guts and diginity to stand up for what is right. admiration from UK

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