Amite County

Amite County is located in Southwest Mississippi on the Louisiana border. Its county seat is Liberty, founded in 1805 and is, thus, one of oldest towns in the state. Following the Civil War, Amite County was 60% African American, and several of its sheriffs were African American as well. After Reconstruction, many African Americans were disenfranchised and racial violence escalated. Until July of 1965, only one out of a population of 5,500 African Americans in Amite County was a registered voter. Twelve years after the Supreme Court’s Brown decision, Amite County contained no integrated classrooms. Two years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it failed to provide even one integrated public facility, and one year after the 1965 Voting Rights Act, it possessed no federal voting registrar. The Ku Klux Klan was particularly active in Amite: the sheriff in 1966, Daniel Jones, was the son of Brian Jones, the county’s Klan leader.