“I think of Andy in the cold wet clay
Those three are on my mind
With his comrades down beside him
On that brutal day
Those three are on my mind”-Frances Taylor &Pete Seeger
Today we remember the birth in 1943 of a lovely idealistic young man, Andrew Goodman, a Queens College student, who asked his parent’s permission, in 1964, to join the Freedom Summer Project and go down to Mississippi to help register African Americans so they could vote. A privileged young man from the Upper West Side, how could his parents say no to this request. The Goodmans had brought him up to do good and even though they could’ve imagined the danger of such a mission, they gave their permission to their much-loved son, Andy. I was 11 years old when I heard that James Chaney, Mike Schwerner and Andrew Goodman went missing in Mississippi and was very much aware to the WHY.
When The Goodmans heard their son was missing along with Chaney and Schwerner, they received a postcard on that very same day from Andy: “Dear Mom and Dad:I have arrived safely in Meridian, Mississippi. This is a wonderful town and the weather is fine. I wish you were here. The people in this city are wonderful and our reception was very good. All my love, Andy.”
Paul Simon, who attended Queens College with Andy, dedicated his song, “He Was My Brother” to Andy and Pete Seeger wrote, “Those Three Are On My Mind.”