Armstrong III, Thomas Madison: Oral History

Thomas Armstrong participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He says that one of Ross Barnett’s speeches encouraged him to participate in the Freedom Rides, because Barnett said that Mississippian’s were happy with the present conditions. The video was filmed for the documentary┬áThe Children Shall Lead (link).   Interview Data Name of Interviewee: Thomas Madison […]

Barnett, Ross

Ross Barnett, who was the governor of Mississippi from 1960 to 1964 and vehemently opposed the integration of the University of Mississippi, taught school for two years in the early nineteen twenties in Pontotoc County. He taught math and coached the basketball team. Sources: Pontotoc County, Mississippi Genealogy and History. November 2, 2006. Pontotoc […]

Bates, Leonard

Leonard Bates was the brother-in-law of Daisy Bates, a civil rights activist and mentor to the nine students who integrated Little Rock High School in 1957.  The MSSC files state that Sterling Davis interviewed Daisy Bates around November 24, 1958, when Bates was visiting Leonard Bates and Ollie Bates, Leonard’s sister and Daisy’s sister-in-law, in […]

Benson, John L.: Oral History

Mr. John L. Benson of Moselle tells the story of his family and his great-grandfather, Isom Benson, who donated land in Jones County for building Benson School for African-American children during Jim Crow segregation. Click here for the video. This oral history was conducted by April Grayson in Hattiesburg, MS.

Brooks, Eddie

Eddie Brooks was a SNCC field worker in Clay County in the mid-1960s. Source:

Conner, Douglas

Douglas Conner was a doctor and activist in Oktibbeha County. Conner was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi (Forrest County), in 1920. Following graduation from Howard University Medical School in 1950, Conner took a position with the Oktibbeha County Hospital in 1951 and worked there until 1989. While working in Starkville in Oktibbeha County, Conner was a […]

Dahmer, Ellie

Dahmer was born in Jasper County, Mississippi in 1925. Dahmer attended Jasper County Training School, and after completing high school, she attended Alcorn A&M College (now Alcorn State University). After her sophomore year, she transferred to Tennessee A&F in Nashville, Tennessee, where she finished her degree. Dahmer began teaching in Forrest County, Mississippi, in 1951. […]

Davis, Alexander K.

Davis was a black male who served as Lieutenant Governor during Reconstruction. He was impeached as a result of Democrats taking back the government. After he was impeached, he returned to Noxubee County where he opened a saloon that attracted both white and black patrons. Sources:

Davis, John Harry

John Harry Davis: Davis is from Ackerman, Mississippi, and attended Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He participated in boycotts and demonstrations while at Rust College in 1961. There is evidence he was involved with the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) in 1965, because the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission (MSSC) reported that he attended a […]

Davis, Walker Milan

W.M. Davis was an educator born in Okolona, Mississippi, in 1908. After graduating from Alcorn State and earning a master’s from Iowa State, he served as an administrator and teacher at Alcorn State. From 1933 to 1940 he served as Dean and Registrar of Okolona College for Negroes. In 1943 he assumed the role of […]

Dedmon, Daryl

Daryl Dedmon was convicted for the murder of James Craig Anderson. On June 26, 2011 seven young white men from Rankin County drove into Jackson, MS with the intention of committing hate crimes against black people. They attacked James Craig Anderson, a black man, beating him, robbing him, and finally running him over with their […]

Eastland, Senator James

Senator Eastland, born in Doddsville and known as “Slippery Jim,”served in the Senate in 1941 and from 1943 to 1972. His legacy is one of opposition to equal rights for all Mississippians. Before serving in the Senate, he was trained as a lawyer and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives. He opposed civil rights […]

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 […]

Evers, Charles and Fayette

Charles Evers, the older brother of the civil rights martyr Medgar Evers, was elected Mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, in 1969 in Jefferson County, making him the first African-American mayor in Mississippi since Reconstruction. By 1969, most of Fayette’s voters were black and were not precluded from registering due to literacy tests and locally appointed registrars. […]

Ford, Benjamin F.

B.F. Ford was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1893 and came to New Albany in 1921 to serve as principal of the African American Union County Training School. At the time, the five-teacher school provided education only through the eighth grade. Ford was respected for his campaign against illiteracy, as well as for his discipline. […]

Foster, Hazel

Hazel Foster ran a beauty shop and the Foster Funeral Home in Ripley and was a member of the NAACP. She applied for notary public status but was denied on the grounds that “she is far above average in inteligence (sic) and of the sort that can be a real problem in our society.” Foster […]

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