Born and raised in Neshoba County, James Young was the only black sixth grader at Neshoba Central Elementary School in 1967. He and several other children integrated Neshoba County schools under the “Freedom of Choice Plan.”He went on to become a paramedic in the county-operated ambulance service. Mr. Young was the first black person to be elected to the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors and served as the 2004 president of the board. Young was a founding member of the Philadelphia Coalition, a community group that organized around the 40th anniversary of what is known as the Freedom Summer Murders, or the Neshoba Murders, in which local klan in collusion with local law enforcement, murdered James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Young was elected mayor of Philadelphia, MS, in 2009, becoming the town’s first black mayor.
Neshoba County: African-American Heritage Driving Tour of Philadelphia Mississippi.http://www.neshobajustice.com/documents/RootsofStruggle.pdf