Below is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Archives & History:
On July 7, 2021, Glen Cotton, Will Kelly, Corey Redd, and Christopher Windfield screened a rough cut of the new documentary film George Raymond: A Thirst for Freedom as part of the History Is Lunch series.
New Orleans native George Raymond was a central figure in some of the best-known Civil Rights Era actions in Mississippi, including the Freedom Rides, the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, the Neshoba County Freedom Summer murders, and James Meredith’s March Against Fear. Movement stalwarts Anne Moody, C.O. Chinn, and Annie Devine counted him as an influence.
“But George Raymond’s death at thirty from heart failure has kept his reputation from matching his significance,” said filmmaker Christopher Windfield. “We made this documentary because we wanted to shine a light on Raymond’s accomplishments over the course of his short life.”
In the early 1960s Raymond moved to Canton to work with the Congress of Racial Equality registering voters, and in 1964 he was the Canton director for the Freedom Summer project. “George Raymond owned the vehicle James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were in the night they were kidnaped and murdered outside Philadelphia,” said Windfield “There was speculation Raymond may have been the original target. “
Glen Cotton is the owner and director of the Freedom House Canton civil rights museum, which features a strong connection to George Raymond and his work there.
Will Kelly is a Brandon-based activist and community organizer who began his career working on Charles Evers’s 1971 gubernatorial campaign. He is president of The Arc of Freedom and Social Justice, a nonprofit company that conducts interviews and archives the stories of civil rights movement leaders
Corey Redd earned his BS in physics from Jackson State University. He is a vice president of The Arc of Freedom and Social Justice.
Christopher Windfield is the CEO of Drawn Up Films Productions. He holds a BA in graphic design from Jackson State University and an MA from the Academy of Art University. His previous films include The 30th of May.
History Is Lunch is sponsored by the John and Lucy Shackelford Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi. The weekly lecture series of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History explores different aspects of the state's past. The hour-long programs are held in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum building at 222 North Street in Jackson.