Alcorn

PEOPLE

Eddington, Grady (also Edding, Grady)

Grady Eddington: Grady Eddington was the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Alcorn County, Mississippi. The years of his leadership are unknown, but the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission mentions him as president in 1969. In the early 1960s, the NAACP was not very active and county officials believed that the organization had gone underground, but by 1969 the NAACP had experienced a revival. 

Racial tensions ran high when an officer shot an African-American murder suspect named Robert Cummings on May 8, 1969. The officers claimed that Cummings swung at them with an ice pick and that they found evidence linking him to the murder. Eddington organized and led a meeting of about two hundred African Americans on the night of the murder. Rumors spread among the white community that trouble was possible and that Charles Evers intended to visit Corinth. On May 21, Eddington asked to meet with Chief Murray, but later postponed the meeting. No further reports have been found regarding Eddington. 

Sources:

"Sovereignty Commission Online: Alcorn County," Mississippi Department of Archives and Historyhttp://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/digital_archives/sovcom/imagelisting.php?foldercheckbox%5b%5d=506%7c2%7c137%7c%7c0

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PLACES

Corinth Contraband Camp

After the Union took control of Corinth in 1962, the town became a haven for thousands of runaway slaves who sought freedom and protection. Union General Grenville Dodge enlisted the escaped slaves as teamsters, cooks, laborers, and armed security guards, which led to the formation of the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment of African Descent with about 1,000 men. Under the supervision of Chaplain James M. Alexander, the camp resembled a small town with a commissary, hospital, church, an American Missionary Association School, frame and log houses, and named streets. The camp allowed former slaves to create a life of their own, gain work and an education, and work toward the struggle for equality. Today, the site is a national park called the Corinth Contraband Camp. The park preserves and commemorates the events that change the lives of so many freedmen during and after the war. Bronze figures throughout the camp depict the lives of people who were considered “contraband” of war.


Sources:

Cam Walker, "Corinth: The Story of a Contraband Camp," Corinth Information Database, 1996, http://mlsandy.home.tsixroads.com/Corinth_MLSANDY/histcw6.html

"Corinth Contraband Camp," National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/shil/planyourvisit/contrabandcamp.htm.

"Corinth, Mississippi: Attractions," Corinth Area Convention and Visitor's Bureauhttp://www.corinth.net/attractions.htm

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EVENTS

The Murder of William Roy Prather

On November 1, 1959, whites killed fifteen-year-old African-American William Roy Prather in Corinth. Whites called it a “Halloween prank,” but the African-American community considered it a hate crime. One of the eight youths involved was indicted on manslaughtercharges, but not convicted. As of November 2011, the case was still open under FBI investigation.


Sources:

Arkansas Delta Truth and Justice Center, “Mississippi Civil Rights Martyrs,” Civil Rights Movement Veterans, accessed 6 September 2012, http://www.crmvet.org/mem/msmartyr.htm.

Jerry Mitchell, “Two-Thirds of 124 Civil Rights Cold Cases Closed,” Clarion Ledger, 7 November 2011, http://blogs.clarionledger.com/jmitchell/2011/11/07/only-third-of-124-civil-rights-cold-cases-still-open/.

Myrlie Evers, For Us the Living, Oxford, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 1967, 24-25, 205.

“William Roy Prather,” Civil Rights and Restorative Justice, 2012, http://nuweb9.neu.edu/civilrights/william-roy-prather/.

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DOCUMENTS

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