Farish Street Baptist Church

Led by Pastor S. Leon Whitney during the 1960s, the Farish Street Baptist congregation supported the movement and welcomed mass meetings. The church hosted weekly voter registration workshops during 1961 and held nightly meetings in support of the boycott of downtown merchants. On May 31, 1963, after an incident of police brutality was reported at Lanier High School, several hundred students gathered here to receive instruction on nonviolent protest and to collect American flags. They left the church and marched down Farish Street toward Capitol Street, where some 400-500 were arrested. African American prison trustees loaded them into city garbage trucks, and they were hauled to the “Fairgrounds Motel.”

Sources:

“Civil Rights Driving Tour of Hinds County”produced by the Associated Press, Tougaloo College, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Development Authority (Tourism Division).