DeSoto

Highway 51

On June 5, 1966, James Meredith began his “March Against Fear” to protest racism. He began in Memphis, Tennessee, and planned to continue 220 miles to Jackson, Mississippi. At the twenty-sixth mile of the march on Highway 51, just south of Hernando, Aubrey Norvell stood in the roadside brush and fired three times at Meredith. […]

Bates, Leonard

Leonard Bates was the brother-in-law of Daisy Bates, a civil rights activist and mentor to the nine students who integrated Little Rock High School in 1957. The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission (MSSC) files state that Sterling Davis interviewed Daisy Bates around November 24, 1958, when Bates was visiting Leonard Bates and Ollie Bates, Leonard’s sister […]

Meredith’s March Against Fear

On June 5, 1966, James Meredith set out to demonstrate that Blacks could exercise freedom without the assistance of the National Guard in what he called the “March Against Fear.” This walk began in Memphis at the Peabody Hotel and was to continue 220 miles to the Mississippi capital in Jackson. Historian Taylor Branch notes […]

Bates, Ollie S.

Ollie S. Bates was the sister-in-law of Daisy Bates, a civil rights activist and mentor to the nine students who integrated Little Rock High School. According to the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission (MSSC), Ollie Bates and an African American man named Anthony Washington were suspected of being involved in rising African-American “unrest and agitation” in […]

Wilson, Clarence

In August of 1960, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission placed Clarence Wilson on their list of potential agitators. He was a teenager during the 1960s and was involved in Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1964.    Caption from the Univeristy of Southern Mississippi Archives: From the Randall (Herbert) Freedom Summer Photographs; Local African-American teenager […]

Berry, James H.

In September of 1960, the MSSC sent investigator Tom Scarbrough to visit DeSoto County’s James H. Berry, a sixty-five year old African American who attempted to register to vote a number of times. He lived “about 9 miles from Holly Springs” and owned about eighty acres of land. His wife was fifty-five years old and […]