Benton Citizens’ Club and the Benton County Freedom Train

In addition to the remarkable work of the Freedom School, the Citizens’ Club was launched. Their main focus was to help better the lives of the black community. In regard to reaching others in the community the Citizens’ Club began to publish a newspaper entitled, The Benton County Freedom Train. The Citizens’ Club was active for years, but members stopped publishing the newsletter after four successful years.

From an excerpt on the Mississippi Freedom School Curriculum website, it captures the words of a student written in the Benton County Freedom Train. “We work eight to nine hours each day and are paid daily after work is over. We get only $3.00 per day . . . and . . . chop cotton eight and a half to nine hours each day. The man whom we worked for is responsible for having fresh cold water handy in the field for the workers to drink. The whites also fail to take us to the store in time to eat dinner: When it’s harvest Negroes pick cotton by hand at $2.00 for a hundred pounds and some places $3.00 per hundred.”