Franzetta Sanders was born on September 2, 1936 in Moss Point. In the 1960s, she was an active member in the local NAACP, working to integrate public accommodations. She was integral in bringing Head Start to the Gulf Coast, and […]
Rosa Scott was born in 1874. She was one of very few African Americans who obtained higher education, attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Rosa Scott taught in several county schools, then became the principal of Madison Grade School. In […]
Below is an article featured in the Clarion Ledger regarding the forgotten killings of Charles E. Moor and Henry Hezekiah Dee and one of the now-convicted murderers, James Ford Seale. Seale was convicted on June 14, 2007. “Reputed Klansman James […]
Dr. Ollye Shirley was an accomplished leader in public television, children’s programming and advocacy, civil rights activism, public education, community service, and more. She and her late husband, Dr. Aaron Shirley, were paragons of civil rights in Mississippi. (Photo: Dr. Shirley […]
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. […]
U.S. Attorney General’s Assistant John Siegenthaler observed the Freedom Rides in 1961. He speaks about the violence at Anniston, Alabama, and his attempt to convince Diane Nash to end the Freedom Rides on behalf of the federal government. He arrived […]
Helen Singleton participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. She explains that Freedom Riders received education about nonviolence and describes one of her experiences on the bus. The video excerpts come from the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link). Helen […]
Robert Singleton participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He describes being arrested in Jackson and the conditions in the city jail. The oral history was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link). Robert Singleton from Winter Institute […]
John Ray Skates was a noted political and military historian born in Sharkey County in 1934. He served as a professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi and President of the Mississippi Historical Society. His “Mississippi: A Bicentennial […]
Superintendent of the New Albany School District from 1964-70. He was responsible for the integration of the city schools.
Lamar Smith, a local farmer, was shot at the age of sixty-two in Brookhaven. Smith was shot in broad daylight on the lawn of the Brookhaven Courthouse. Two weeks prior to the shooting, Smith voted in a primary and was […]
Michael Smith was a Berkeley law student who came to Panola as a COFO Volunteer. 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).
Rev. R.L.T. Smith has been dubbed “the minister of the Jackson civil rights movement.”He pastured several churches during the 1960s, including Mount Elam Baptist Church in Pearl, Mississippi, and New St. John Missionary Baptist Church, now located on Page Avenue. […]
Elizabeth Spencer was born in Carrollton, Mississippi on July 19, 1921. In 1953, Spencer went to Italy on a Guggenheim Fellowship. She wrote The Voice at the Back Door while there. Summarizing her novel, Elizabeth Spencer says, “It takes place […]
On June 16, 1964, Cornelius Steele, with his wife Mable and their two children, were four of the ten people gathered at Mt. Zion Church for a regular finance meeting. The meeting ended about 9:00 that night. Cornelius and his […]
According to Lloyd Stephens (“Stephens”), his store Stephens was one of the first, if not the first, business to employ an African-Americans in Mendenhall, Miss. Stephens said that he has always had a great relationship with African-Americans, and he enjoys […]
E.W. Steptoe, born Eldridge Willie Steptoe from Amite County, was owner of a dairy and cotton farm. He founded Amite County’s NAACP chapter in 1953 and recruited nearly 200 members in less than a year. Because of Steptoe and others who […]
James Stokes was a founder and spokesman for the Deacons for Defense and Justice. Sources: Umoja, Akinyele Omowale. “‘We Will Shoot Back’: The Natchez Model and Paramilitary Organization in the Mississippi Freedom Movement.”Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 32, No. 3 […]
Dr. E.J. Stringer was president of the state NAACP, and, at one time, had his dental office in an upstairs office on Catfish Alley as did Dr. Isaac Brown, the first African American doctor in Columbus. Sources: African American Heritage […]
Syria Sturdivant Hayes is a prominent attorney in Meridian, MS. While attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, she became the first African American representative and the first woman representative in the student senate at the university. She went […]
Attorney Aleita Ann Sullivan is the daughter of the late Draughn G. and Letha D. Magee. Sullivan’s paternal grandfather, Philip Magee, was one of the original settlers of Magee, Miss. Sullivan’s mother, Letha, taught the first African-American student to attend […]
Robert Swinney was the first black alderman to be elected in Prentiss County. Sources:Prentiss County, Mississippi: history and families. Limited ed. Paducah, Ky.: Turner Pub. Co., 2002. Print.