People

Wade, Geneva

Geneva Wade was born to a family of tenant farmers in the Myrtle community, just northwest of New Albany in Union County. She recalled walking down the railroad tracks to the one-room Pine Bluff School that served African American students […]

Walker, Joseph Edison

Joseph Edison Walker (1897-1958): Born in Tillman, Mississippi, Walker was a leading African American physician, businessman and religious leader. He graduated from Alcorn College in 1903 and then attended medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He practiced as […]

Watkins, Hollis

Hollis Watkins was born in Lincoln County, Mississippi, as the twelfth child of a sharecropping family. He became the first Mississippi student to join SNCC as a voting rights organizer at the age of nineteen. He is the co-founder and […]

Watson, Rev. Samuel

Watson was pastor of Watson Grove M.B. Church beginning in 1932.

Weathersby, George

The WPA Slave Narratives are interviews with ex-slaves conducted from 1936 through 1938 by the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP), a unit of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Both the FWP and its parent organization, the WPA, were New Deal relief […]

Weathersby, Steve

The WPA Slave Narratives are interviews with ex-slaves conducted from 1936 through 1938 by the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP), a unit of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Both the FWP and its parent organization, the WPA, were New Deal relief […]

Weathersby, Zella

Zella Weathersby, a native of Mount Olive, was the first black teacher at the previously all-white Collins Elementary School in 1968. Source:http://www.lib.usm.edu/legacy/spcol/coh/cohweathersbyz.html

Wells, Thelma Moore: Oral History

Thelma Moore Wells grew up in the rural area of Neshoba County, twelve miles north of Philadelphia, Mississippi. She was raised on a farm with 15 siblings, her mother and father. Her father owned the land where they grew their […]

White, Ben Chester

Ben Chester White was the caretaker of the Carter family farm off Liberty Road in Natchez his entire life and was never involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Despite his elderly age of 67 and lack of involvement in the […]

Wiggins, Neomia “Sis” Lakes

NEOMIA “SIS”LAKES WIGGINS was born on September 28, 1917, near Charleston,Mississippi. She was the first African American person to register to vote in West Tallahatchie County, a move that required the police to escort her and guard her house. She […]

Wilchie, John

JOHN WILCHIE was born in Glendora, Mississippi. In 1979 he was appointed to carry out the remaining term of Justice Court Judge, and the following year he was elected the first African American Justice Court Judge in Tallahatchie County. He […]

Williams, Chris

Chris Williams was a COFO worker who came down to Panola County after graduating from high school in Amherst, Massachusetts. Sources: Wirt, Frederick M. “Politics and Southern Equality.”Chicago: Aldine Publishing (1970). Wirt, Frederick M. “We Ain’t What We Was.”Durham: Duke […]

Williams, Richard

Williams was born March 22, 1886, the grandson of a freed Virginia slave. He grew up on the Jim Smith farm between Canton and Flora. When he was sixteen years old, he used $18 he received from a county farmers […]

Williams, Roosevelt

ROOSEVELT WILLIAMS was the first African American elected to the Tallahatchie County School Board of Trustee. He was elected in 1971 and served until 1991. Sources: http://www.etmctallahatchie.com/documents/drivingtour.pdf

Willis, Larry: Oral History

A Delta native, Larry Willis talks about his involvement with the civil rights movement and the Emmett Till murder. He explains the happenings associated with the trial such as how people would react when someone black would try to share […]

Wilson, Alfonzo W., Airman 3rd Class

On August 6, 1961, Alfonzo Wilson refused to sit at the back of the bus as was customary for black riders. He was arrested after a scuffle with a police officer who was called to force him to move to […]

Wilson, Clarence

In August of 1960, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission placed Clarence Wilson on their list of potential agitators. He was a teenager during the 1960s and was involved in Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1964.    Caption from the […]

Winter, Gov. William F.

Born in 1923 in Grenada, Mississippi, William F. Winter served in the armed forces in World War II and the Korean War. He was awarded a BA from the University of Mississippi in 1943 and an LL.B. in 1949. He […]

Wright, Major

Major Wright was a member of SCLC who worked in Grenada. On October 24, 1967, he was arrested after a protest march and was beaten while in custody. Source:http://crdl.usg.edu/people/w/wright_major/