Voter Registration in Panola

(1961-1966) Panola was the first County in Mississippi to begin Black Suffrage. The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division began field work in 1961 because nearly half the population was black, but no black citizens were registered to vote. By 1966, around 2,000 African-Americans were registered.

On June 11, 1966, 200 to 300 local blacks marched to the Batesville courthouse led by Robert Miles. After the marchers got to the courthouse, over fifty black citizens registered to vote, including a 106 year-old farmer.

Sources:

Wirt, Frederick M. “Politics and Southern Equality.”Chicago: Aldine Publishing (1970).

Wirt, Frederick M. “We Ain’t What We Was.”Durham: Duke University Press (1997).