Panola – Events

Voter Registration in Panola

(1961-1966) Panola was the first County in Mississippi to begin Black Suffrage. The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division began field work in 1961 because nearly half the population was black, but no black citizens were registered to vote. By 1966, around 2,000 African-Americans were registered.

On June 11, 1966, 200 to 300 local blacks marched to the Batesville courthouse led by Robert Miles. After the marchers got to the courthouse, over fifty black citizens registered to vote, including a 106 year-old farmer.

Sources:

Wirt, Frederick M. “Politics and Southern Equality.”Chicago: Aldine Publishing (1970).

Wirt, Frederick M. “We Ain’t What We Was.”Durham: Duke University Press (1997).

Desegregation in Panola

(1960-1971) Desegregation began in the late 1960s in Panola County. The initial approach for desegregation was “freedom of choice”. The idea was that parents would choose to send their children to either school, and the intended reaction of continued segregation was the result. But in the school year of 1970-1971 full desegregation began in Panola County. Full desegregation led to the formation of a white private school started by seventy white families. Many whites abandoned the public school system.

Sources:

Wirt, Frederick M. “Politics and Southern Equality.”Chicago: Aldine Publishing (1970).

Wirt, Frederick M. “We Ain’t What We Was.”Durham: Duke University Press (1997).

Voting Registration in Panola County

(1961-1966) Panola was the first county in Mississippi to begin black suffrage. The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division began field work in 1961 because nearly half the population was black but with no black citizens were registered to vote. By 1966, around 2,000 African-Americans were registered.

On June 11, 1966, 200 to 300 local blacks marched to the Batesville Courthouse led by Robert Miles. After the marchers got to the courthouse, over fifty black citizens registered to vote, including a 106 year-old farmer.

Sources:

Wirt, Frederick M. “Politics and Southern Equality.”Chicago: Aldine Publishing (1970).

Wirt, Frederick M. “We Ain’t What We Was.”Durham: Duke University Press (1997).

School Desegregation in Panola County

(1970) Desegregation began in the late 1960’s in Panola County. The initial approach for desegregation was “freedom of choice”. The idea was that parents would choose to send their children to either school, and the intended reaction of continued segregation was the result. But in the school year of 1970-1971 full desegregation began in Panola County. Full desegregation led to the formation of a white private school started by seventy white families.

Sources:

Wirt, Frederick M. “Politics and Southern Equality.”Chicago: Aldine Publishing (1970).

Wirt, Frederick M. “We Ain’t What We Was.”Durham: Duke University Press (1997).

White Citizen’s Council of Panola County

In 1955 a local chapter of the White Citizens’ Council was created, but for the most part the group was inactive, not meeting regularly.

Sources:

Wirt, Frederick M. “Politics and Southern Equality.”Chicago: Aldine Publishing (1970).

Wirt, Frederick M. “We Ain’t What We Was.”Durham: Duke University Press (1997).