Dearman, Stanley: Oral History

Stanley Dearman was born in raised in Lauderdale County Mississippi. He joined the navy after community college then returned to attend the University of Mississippi. After graduation he began working at the Neshoba Democrat, where he would serve as editor from 1966 to 2000. He spent those thirty-four years in an unrelenting pursuit of the truth, taking on bootleggers and corrupt public officials. Through the reporting in his newspaper, he enabled for the first time a frank, open discussion of the 1964 civil rights murders in Neshoba County nearly four decades later. Mr. Dearman never sought public approval. He had a gentle, but firm touch – the stick of a pin instead of a sledgehammer – with many of his editorials. He was a champion of the public schools and is credited with being a major force behind the smooth, peaceful integration in 1970. Mr. Dearman urged city and county officials to prepare for the 25th anniversary of the civil rights murders that led to an apology by native son and then-Secretary of State Dick Molpus, a watershed in Mississippi civil rights history. In his last editorial before he sold the newspaper in August 2000, Mr. Dearman made an unequivocal call for prosecution of the 1964 murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.

Stanley Dearman’s oral history, part 1 of 26:

Neshoba County – Interview with Stanley Dearman 01 from Winter Institute on Vimeo.

Part 1 of 26 of his oral history can also be viewed here.

Sources:

Neshoba County: African-American Heritage Driving Tour of Philadelphia Mississippi.http://www.neshobajustice.com/documents/RootsofStruggle.pdf