Grenada

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Hartford, Bruce

Bruce Hartford was a member of SCLC who participated in the March Against Fear and worked in Grenada.

Source:
http://www.crmvet.org/vet/hartford.htm

Grenada Public Schools Riot

Black children were admitted to Grenada Public Schools for the first time in 1966. The white townspeople rioted violently, gathering outside of the schools to prevent the students from entering and attacking the children who did manage to get inside when they left.  For weeks, the black students were escorted by civil rights workers until a court ordered that the mob disperse.

Source:
http://www.lib.usm.edu/legacy/archives/m414.htm

Grenada County Freedom Movement (GCFM)

The Grenada County Freedom Movement, founded in 1966 and affiliated with SCLC, was the primary civil rights organization which led the fight for desegregation and equality in Grenada, MS.

Source:
http://www.crmvet.org/info/grenada.htm

Highway 51

Meredith Mississippi March Against Fear came through Grenada via Highway 51 on June 15, 1966. A voter rally was held afterward in the town square. That night, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech. About 1,300 people were registered to vote after the rally, but it is estimated that 700 of those people would not be allowed to vote because county officials did not tell them that voters also had to register at City Hall. Shortly after the march, the Grenada County Freedom Movement (GCFM) was created and it affiliated with the SCLC.

Sources:

http://www.crmvet.org/info/grenada.htm

http://www.usm.edu/crdp/html/transcripts/manuscript-neely_jasper.shtml

Dittmer, John. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Urbana, Ill. University of Illinois Press, 1994.

Wright, Major

Major Wright was a member of SCLC who worked in Grenada. On October 24, 1967, he was arrested after a protest march and was beaten while in custody.

Source:
http://crdl.usg.edu/people/w/wright_major/

March Against Fear

The March Against Fear, begun by James Meredith and continued by Stokely Carmichael, Dr. Martin Luther King, and others, arrived in Grenada on June 15, 1966.  After Dr. King spoke to a group of 200 people, they all marched to the town square to register to vote. It was this event that sparked a long and eventful movement in Grenada.

Source:
http://www.crmvet.org/info/grenada.htm

Movie Theatre

On June 23, a group of students was arrested after they attempted to buy tickets for the white section of the movie theater. These arrests led to the “open city campaign”during which civil rights workers and citizens tried to integrate everything in town. Teams went to restaurants, motels, and other businesses. Civil rights suits were filed under the Civil Rights Act against non-complying establishments. A few weeks later, the GCFM presented demands to Grenada for desegregation, better voter registration, and equal employment. A boycott of white businesses began until the demands were met.

Sources:

http://www.crmvet.org/info/grenada.htm

http://www.usm.edu/crdp/html/transcripts/manuscript-neely_jasper.shtml

Dittmer, John. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Urbana, Ill. University of Illinois Press, 1994.

Cottonreader, R.B.

R.B. Cottonreader was a member of SCLC who worked across the South, including in Grenada.

Source:
http://crdl.usg.edu/people/c/cottonreader_r_b/

Grenada County Schools

The first day of school was postponed multiple times by whites trying to delay the integration. Four hundred and fifty black students registered to attend white schools, but only 200 attempted to attend the first day because the others were threatened with loss of jobs and evictions. Black students trying to integrate were attacked by mobs of whites, who beat some of the children. Eventually, the students had to assemble at Bellflower and be marched with adults to the school. Students were harassed when they began school. There was a walkout of the white schools to protest the continuing harassment. The boycott lasted for 11 days. Most of the black students attending the black schools boycotted their schools as well. By the end of the school year, Grenada had the most African-Americans attending formerly white schools than any other rural MS county.

Sources:

http://www.crmvet.org/info/grenada.htm

http://www.usm.edu/crdp/html/transcripts/manuscript-neely_jasper.shtml

Dittmer, John. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Urbana, Ill. University of Illinois Press, 1994.