Grenada County

Grenada County, founded in 1870, county seat in Grenada, has a rich history of civil rights activity, with much of it concentrated in 1966.  On June 15 of that year, the March Against Fear made its way through Grenada. That night, fired up by the presence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Stokely Carmichael, and many other nationally-known activists, the locals gathered and marched to the town square where 160 black people were registered to vote.  Though the March moved on, several SCLC members stayed in Grenada to continue the voter registration efforts. It was around this time that activists in Grenada founded the Grenada County Freedom Movement.  However, though the voter registration drive had been wonderfully successful in Grenada, it was soon discovered that about 700 people who had registered were not given the proper paperwork and were not truly registered.  People who were so passionate at the time of the March Against Fear had quickly become disheartened.  It was about a week later, when fifteen students were arrested for trying to sit in the white section of the theater, that their passions were reignited.  The GCFM then organized a mass integration project.  Groups of black people were sent to segregated places all over town to integrate them.  At the same time, the GCFM gave 51 demands to Grenada leaders, calling for desegregation of public places, increased voter registration for black people, and equal employment.  It was also in 1966 that the Grenada Public Schools were integrated, a process that was very violent but successful. For the remainder of the year and continuing into 1967, Grenada saw countless marches, picket lines, attacks from white mobs, and arrests, as local Grenadans, along with members of SCLC, advocated for equality.