Gibbs, Phillip Lafayette

Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, born in Ripley, Tippah County, MS in 1948, was killed by police during a riot at Jackson State University, where he was studying law, in May 1970. The riot occurred after several days of protests by Jackson State students in response to the shooting of four Kent State antiwar protesters. When 100 students congregated around the Alexander Center Dormitory, police fired into the crowd, killing Gibbs and a high school student James Earl Green. A federal commission report later showed that the police response was unwarranted, with the officers confident that they would not be prosecuted for shooting at a crowd of young black people.


Associated Press. “Another Negro Church Burns.”Hattiesburg American. 31 October 1964.

Files of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission.

McKee, Don. “Oberlin College Crowd at Ripley.” Associated Press, 22 December 1964.

“The Shootings at Kent State University: Thirty Years Later.” The Journal of Blacks in
Higher Education. 2000.

Veazey, Walter K. “Hundreds of Miles From Home OC Students Keep Yule Promise.”The
Chronicle-Telegram, 26 December 1964.