Rankin County Data Dashboard
Daryl Dedmon was convicted for the murder of James Craig Anderson. On June 26, 2011 seven young white men from Rankin County drove into Jackson, MS with the intention of committing hate crimes against black people. They attacked James Craig Anderson, a black man, beating him, robbing him, and finally running him over with their truck, killing him. Witnesses reported the young men were yelling out racial slurs while fleeing the scene. Dedmon was the first and primary individual charged. 4 other young men involved were prosecuted in 2012. The case also attracted the attention of the LGBT rights movement, as James Craig Anderson had a male partner who was not allowed to participate in the wrongful death suit, as he was not legally recognized as his partner.
Black United Front
The Black United Front was a civil rights group operating out of Rankin County, MS, that sent a series of demands to businesses and the city government of Brandon, MS. The demands sent to businesses included proportionate employment of black people and an end to restaurant segregation. The demands sent to the government included demands for a government-housing program, an end to police brutality, an ouster of the town sheriff, and an overhaul of the Brandon prison system. The group threatened a boycott of all businesses in Brandon, MS, by all black people if their demands were not met. They went so far as to publish an “Uncle Tom’s List” of all black people caught breaking the boycott.
Little Selma March
On May 29, 1965, in imitation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, a group of 300 civil rights activists marched along Route 471 in Brandon, MS. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized the march, with the intention of presenting the Rankin County courthouse in Brandon with a petition against discrimination against black voters. The march was lead by George Raymond, along with several members of COFO from Canton, Jackson, and McComb. The marchers, after presenting their petition, attempted to take the voting registration test in the voting office but were denied as many were deemed ineligible.
Justice for James Craig Anderson
This group advocates for the prosecution of the individuals involved in the murder of James Craig Anderson.
Justice for James Craig Anderson
Church Fires in Rankin County
On June 21, 1964, a Molotov cocktail exploded in the basement of Sweet Rest Church of Christ’s Holiness in Rankin County. A fire broke out, but there were only minor damages. On July 19th, 1964 both St. Matthew’s Negro Baptist Church and the Grill Chapel Methodist Church were burned. On July 31, 1964, just miles away from Sweet Rest, Pleasant Grove Church was burned to the ground. The fire department came but left before the fire was put out, stating that they had been called too late. Later a butane tank was found buried next to the church, and the FBI then started to investigate. On August 13th, 1964, St. Matthew’s Negro Baptist Church was again burned, this time successfully to the ground. A fire department spokesman told officials that the department was unable to put out the fire. October 30th, 1964, St. James Negro Methodist Church was burned down, adding up to five different all-black churches being burned. According to a Sovereignty Commission report, general suspicion for the culprits of the burnings was on the local branch of the American for the Preservation of the White Race (APWR), a local group associated with the Ku Klux Klan.