Lafayette – People/Persons

Campbell, Will

Born in Amite County, Mississippi in 1924, Will Campbell became an ordained minister at age 17 before attending Louisiana College. After attending Louisiana College, Will served as a medic during World War II.

Mr. Campbell held a multitude of professions over his career as a civil rights activist that resulted in an impressive resume. In 1954, Mr. Campbell served as the Director of Religious Life at the University of Mississippi until he received hostility for being a supporter of integration. He then worked as a field director for the National Council of Churches where he aided in efforts to escort black students into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1963, Mr. Campbell became the director of the Committee of Southern Churchmen where his contributions to the Katalagete: Be Reconciled journal had a controversial effect on his reputation as a civil rights activist.

He authored several books, including Brother to a Dragonfly, Providence, Forty Acres and a Goat, and The Glad River.

Mr. Campbell passed away in June of 2013.

God’s Will from The Center for Public Television on Vimeo.

Anderson, David E. “Feisty Civil Rights Activist Will Campbell Dies at 88.” Washington Post, June 5, 2013. Accessed October 7, 2013.

Jay, Jeff. “Will D. Campbell: An Unconventional Approach to Racial Reconciliation”. The University of Chicago, October 10, 2013. Accessed October 17, 2017.

Sturdivant, Syria Hayes

Syria Sturdivant Hayes is a prominent attorney in Meridian, MS. While attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, she became the first African American representative and the first woman representative in the student senate at the university. She went on to pursue a storied career in the law in her hometown of Meridian.

Redmond Jr., W.R.

The Reverend W.R. Redmond, Jr., served as pastor of the Burns United Methodist Church. In 1945, he organized the Oxford Training School football team. In 1971, he became the first African-American member of the Oxford School Board. A scholarship was founded in his memory to assist local African-Americans to attend medical school.


“We Cannot Walk Alone Exhibition” 15 November 2006

Nelms, Chuck. “Thoughts and Recollections of Ole Miss Fall of 1962.” Feb 4 1991. Jun 2006

“Integrating Ole Miss.” Integrating Ole Miss: A Civil Rights Milestone. June 2002. John F. Kennedy Library. Jun 2006

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

Marshall, Susie

Susie Marshall served over forty-one years from 1937 to 1978 as an educator in Oxford and Lafayette County. She was a Jeanne Supervisor for twenty-six African-American Lafayette schools from 1952 to 1964. She graduated from Rust College with a degree in elementary education in 1952 and received a Masters Degree from the University of Mississippi in 1972. She served on the Oxford Housing Authority. She has been a member of Second Baptist Church and has taught Sunday School for over forty years and a choir member for sixty years. In addition, she has been active in the Oxford Development Association, the Retired Teachers Association, and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.


“We Cannot Walk Alone Exhibition”