Natchez Civil Rights Movement - 1965 - Pivotal Year

Natchez Civil Rights Movement - 1965 - Pivotal Year (HM26LW)

Location: Natchez, MS 39120 Adams County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 33.421', W 91° 23.385'

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Natchez Trails

The National Guard patrolled St. Catherine Street on September 3, 1965, not long after the August 27 bombing that nearly killed George Metcalfe, president of the local chapter of the Natchez Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Governor Paul Johnson sent 650 National Guardsmen to Natchez after the city rejected a list of demands submitted by the NAACP in the wake of the bombing.This paradigm of economic boycotts supported by paramilitary organization was first utilized in 1965 in Natchez... The insurgent model of Natchez was replicated throughout the state... Akinyele O. Umoja, "We Will Shoot Back," Journal of Black Studies, January 2002On September 30 the city obtained an injunction against demonstrations. Over the next several days more than 500 demonstrators were arrested and the City Auditorium (above, became a temporary detention center. About half were bused to Parchman Penitentiary where the received cruel treatment at the hands of the warden.After the U. S. District Court lifted the injunction against protest marches on October 6, the city witnessed the largest march of its Civil Rights Movement. About twelve hundred marchers filled the streets of downtown Natchez. They marched quietly and orderly to the Adams County Courthouse (above). Klansmen often stood on the street corners

to try to intimidate the participants.With the exception of Charles Evers...the Natchez civil rights struggle—considered by some historians as the most successful of the Mississippi movements—was led by hardworking, regular men and women from the local black community. They organized demonstrations, an economic boycott, and countered the Klan violence, and the lack of police protection by arming themselves. Vern Smith, "Ghosts of Mississippi." The Defenders Online, March 4, 2011.The [newspaper] article was directed at the cowards who placed hoods over their faces and killed, bombed, beat, intimidated, and distributed libelous filth under the cover of darkness. Forrest A. Johnson, Sr. (white attorney and publisher), Miss-Lou Observer, March 31, 1965. During a march up Franklin Street on October 30, notorious . Klansman Jack Seale (above right) of neighboring Franklin County stood on a street corner in paramilitary clothing to try to intimidate marchers.Both Jack and his brother James Ford Seale were implicated in murders and bombings in Southwest Mississippi. FBI records document that Jack Seale became a paid informant in 1967. His brother died in prison in 2011 after being convicted in 2007 of the 1964 kidnapping of two black teenagers who were murdered.A young man holds a sign (above) on the 700 block of Franklin Street in early December 1965. At a meeting at Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church, activist Bill Ware called for a Christmas boycott against white merchants. This boycott and the demonstrations of 1965 resulted in the city and local businesses conceding to virtually all of the NAACP demands. The city formally conceded on December 3, 1965. Whereas virtually every other local campaign had ended in failure during the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi, the Natchez project had mobilized an entire community and exacted sweeping concessions from the white establishment—without federal intervention... The Natchez campaign was the single greatest community victory for the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi... Lance Hill, The Deacons for Defense, 2004
HM NumberHM26LW
Series This marker is part of the series
Placed ByCity of Natchez
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, April 5th, 2018 at 7:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 652832 N 3492460
Decimal Degrees31.55701667, -91.38975000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 33.421', W 91° 23.385'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 33' 25.26" N, 91° 23' 23.1" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)601, 769
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 146 St Catherine St, Natchez MS 39120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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