Sias, Henry

Born in 1881, Henry Sias was a prominent member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP).

After serving in World War I, Sias returned home to Issaquena County and worked as a teacher and farmer for the next four decades. By 1964 when the first civil rights organizers came to Issaquena County, Sias owned 160 acres of land, was a prominent member of the community, and had founded the Issaquena branch of the NAACP. At age eighty-three during the Freedom Summer, Sias helped SNCC workers like Stokely Carmichael meet locals interested in participating in rights-based organizations, like SNCC and COFO.

In 1964 when the MFDP traveled to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City to protest the Mississippi Democratic Party’s racial biases, Sias served as a delegate and “elder statesman”of the group.


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