Calhoun County Data Dashboard


Southern Improvement Council

Southern Improvement Council: Formed in October of 1961 in Grenada County, Mississippi by Taylor Ford, the Southern Improvement Council defended racial pride and separatism. The organization sent letters to the community of Calhoun County stating, “It’s part of God’s program that every race or nation is to have its own language and society.” The letter also said, “The Bible speaks against the mixing of races, so let every race be proud of its own.” The Southern Improvement Council believed that the NAACP harmed race relations, led in racial hatred, and broke down friendships. Ford believed that Communist radicals infiltrated and destroyed trust between blacks and whites. The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission found evidence that Ford was in Calhoun County in April of 1961. Investigators dismissed Ford as “a dead beat, sham, and panderer” who scammed black and white Mississippians with his “hoodoo” practices and killed at least one other black person. There are no reports of whether or not the organization coalesced or if Calhoun County residents joined. 


“Sovereignty Commission Online: Calhoun County,” Mississippi Department of Archives and History,

“Sovereignty Commission Online: SRC ID # 2-117-0-15-1-1-1,” Mississippi Department of Archives and History|117|0|15|1|1|1|38241|#