Lafayette – Organizations

William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation

William Winter Institute LogoIn 1997, then-President Bill Clinton inaugurated an unprecedented national conversation on race. “One America: The President’s Initiative on Race” marked the first time a sitting president had called for such a dialogue without the catalyst of a major crisis. It suggested, on a federal level, the importance of dealing positively with race relations on a daily basis.

Accepting the challenge to prod grassroots efforts, the University of Mississippi hosted the only deep-South public forum for One America. Preceded by dialogue groups representing ten constituency topics ranging from the arts to education to religion, the event highlighted elected delegates from each group. Sharing the insight and hopes of the more than 160 participants, the representatives crafted a frank yet civil discussion on one of our nation’s most difficult subjects.

The President’s staff hailed the UM experience as the single most successful of the entire Initiative year. That recognition encouraged the University to formalize its dialogue process with the creation of an institute to promote racial reconciliation and civic renewal.

Founded in 1999, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation builds more inclusive communities by promoting diversity and citizenship, and by supporting projects that help communities solve local challenges.

Source:

“About Us.” William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. U of Mississippi. http://www.winterinstitute.org/pages/aboutus.htm.

Political Parties of Lafayette

Black Democrats during the Reconstruction period in Lafayette County included Joseph Taylor, Jim Nelson, Jack Carter, William Frierson, and Newton Chilton. These followed the traditional Democratic Southern Party. Republicans included Tobe Humphries, Bob Stockard, and Alexander Phillips. Phillips was a schoolteacher and preacher who came to the country after the Civil War. The Republicans were associated with the Freedman’s Bureau, the Loyal League, and a garrison of federal soldiers to keep the peace.

Sources:

“We Cannot Walk Alone Exhibition” Olemiss.edu. 15 November 2006
<http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/files/archives/exhibits/civilrights/aa/burns.html>

Nelms, Chuck. “Thoughts and Recollections of Ole Miss Fall of 1962.” Feb 4 1991. Jun 2006 <http://www.llf.lib.ms.us/winnebago/LLF/Oral%20Histories/NELMS2.htm>.

“Integrating Ole Miss.” Integrating Ole Miss: A Civil Rights Milestone. June 2002. John F. Kennedy Library. Jun 2006 <http://www.jfklibrary.org/meredith/home.html>.

Sobotka, C. John Jr. A History of Lafayette County, Mississippi. Oxford, MS: Rebel Press, 1976.

NAACP of Lafayette County

Nathan Hodges, Jr. and others founded the Oxford-Lafayette County branch of the NAACP in 1952 at Second Baptist Church originally under the title of the Lafayette County Improvement Club. The first elected president was Mrs. Mabel McCune. In 1980, they established the W.R. Redmond Memorial Scholarship Fund for the purpose of educating an African-American doctor to serve the area. The Oxford Development Association sponsored the scholarship later.

Sources:

“We Cannot Walk Alone Exhibition” Olemiss.edu. 15 November 2006
<http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/files/archives/exhibits/civilrights/aa/burns.html>

Nelms, Chuck. “Thoughts and Recollections of Ole Miss Fall of 1962.” Feb 4 1991. Jun 2006 <http://www.llf.lib.ms.us/winnebago/LLF/Oral%20Histories/NELMS2.htm>

“Integrating Ole Miss.” Integrating Ole Miss: A Civil Rights Milestone. June 2002. John F. Kennedy Library. Jun 2006 <http://www.jfklibrary.org/meredith/home.html>

Sobotka, C. John Jr. A History of Lafayette County, Mississippi. Oxford, MS: Rebel Press, 1976.

Churches of Lafayette County

Churches played a part in the Civil Rights Movement, such as Second Missionary Baptist Church and Burns Methodist Church in Oxford. Churches played a role in both education and in organizing rights-oriented activism.

Sources:

“We Cannot Walk Alone Exhibition” Olemiss.edu. 15 November 2006
<http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/files/archives/exhibits/civilrights/aa/burns.html>