Jeremiah Day '89 is a Berlin-based artist dealing with memory, politics and sense of place. Day has an ongoing project reflecting on the Lowndes County Freedom Organization in Alabama and has worked with Earl Mills, the Chief of the Mashpee Wampanoags in New England, among others, gathering individuals' memories of political struggles and honoring them in the form of multimedia art installations and performance. The Lowndes County Freedom Organization was founded in 1965 by Stokely Carmichael, The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Local Farmers and Teachers after the Selma TO Montgomery March to protect and organize Black voter registration in the face of Political Repression so great that in Lowndes County Alabama 80% of the population was Black but no Black citizens were registered to vote. Several activists, white and black, were killed in this struggle, but in a short time this new political party - whose logo was a black panther, the inspiration for the later more famous panthers - had changed all this and there were black elected officials. Jeremiah's ongoing project aims to understand and commemorate the LCFO.
"At one point on one of my trips to Selma, Alabama I asked myself, "How did I get here and why does this stuff matter so much to me? Why have I built my life with a core commitment to politics so that I could appreciate and try to foster the legacy of the freedom struggle? And I realized it all dates back to a lecture I saw in seventh grade at Shady Hill by a parent, James Dilday, about his experience in the SNCC in the 1960's. Led by figures like Diane Nash, John Lewis, Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown, SNCC student activists were at the foreground of developing aggressive strategies like freedom rides and local voter registration drives, leading to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party among other bold initiatives.