In 1961, 15-year-old Burglund student Brenda Travis along with 20-year-olds Ike Lewis and Bobbie Talbert were arrested and jailed for participating in a sit-in demonstration at the Greyhound bus terminal. The school’s principal, Mr. Commodore Dewey Higgins, suspended Brenda Travis for her arrest, prompting students to request an explanation of his actions. Mr. Higgin’s lack of response led to the October 4 walkout by about 300 Burglund High School students.
As students marched from the school to the SNCC office above the Burglund Super Market, other community people joined in, and the group continued to the steps of the McComb City Hall. There, the demonstrators, mostly students, attempted to pray on the City Hall steps. As they knelt to pray, they were arrested. After each set of arrests, others stepped forward to pray, until 116 people had been arrested. The youngest students were released, although 76 individuals were held in the City Jail for three days. Demonstrators over the age of eighteen were transferred to the County Jail in Magnolia, where they were held for 39 days.
After they were released from the jail, a number of students returned to school but were expelled. They attended the McComb Freedom School for a few weeks, before arrangements were made for those students to continue their education at J.P. Campbell Junior College in Jackson, Mississippi.
Videos referencing the Burglund High School Walkout:
These videos can also be viewed here.