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.
“Council of Federated Organizations (COFO).”King Encyclopedia.
“An Oral History with Honorable Unita Blackwell.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1977.
“Barfootin’.”Unita Blackwell and JoAnne Prichard Morris. Crown Publishers. 2006.
“From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice.”Thomas F. Jackson. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2006.
“National Council of Churches.”http://home.wlu.edu/~connerm/AfAmStudies/Contemporary%20Culture%20Project/Religion&Culture/ncc.html
“Divine Agitators: The Delta Ministry and Civil Rights in Mississippi.”Mark Newman. University of Georgia Press. 2004.
“Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi.”John Dittmer. University of Illinois Press. 1994.
“The Issaquena Genealogy and History Project: W.E. Mollison.”http://www.rootsweb.com/~msissaq2/mollison.html
“An Oral History with Mrs. Minnie Ripley.”Civil Rights in Mississippi: Digital Archive. 1979. http://anna.lib.usm.edu/%7Espcol/crda/oh/ohripleymp.html