Proud to Take a Stand Commemorating the Civil Rights Movement ...

Proud to Take a Stand Commemorating the Civil Rights Movement ...

PROUD TO TAKE A STAND COMMEMORATING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960S Darryl V. Grennell Mayor Proud To Take A Stand Commemoration the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s Since taking office in July 2016, one of my goals as Mayor of the City of Natchez has been to publicly honor and remember those individuals who marched during the turbulent Civil Rights era of the 1961s by raising funds to construct an area of reflection at the Natchez City Auditorium. The area of reflection will honor those men, women and

children that were arrested, jailed, and taken to Parchman Penitentiary fighting for equal rights. PROUD TO TAKE A STAND Commemoration the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is a summary of Natchez 1965, detailing the events that led up to the jailing, inhumane treatment, and ultimately, an end to the boycotting of white-owned businesses and marches. The summary, as well as site plan and illustration of the proposed monument, can be seen by going to the citys website at http://www.natchez.ms.us/Civic Alerts.aspx?AID=29. The cost of this project, including site preparation, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and monument totals $115,000.00. The Natchez board of aldermen and I have committed $38,340.00 to bring this project to fruition, and our Tricentennial Committee has committed another $2,500.00 toward this effort, but additional funds must be raised. To kick off

this fundraising campaign I am personally donating $1,000.00 to this very worthy cause. And you can do the same with your generous donation, no matter how large or small, because every dollar is needed! Please make you check or money order payable to the City of Natchez, PO Box 1185, Natchez, Mississippi 39120, and do not forget to write in the memo section of your check Proud to Take a Stand. Your donation may be tax deductible, but I encourage you to speak to your accountant or tax preparer. I thank you for your support, because without out your generous donations this historically significant event will not receive the recognition it so justly deserves! Darryl V. Grennell Mayor

PROUD TO TAKE A STAND COMMEMORATING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960S Natchez in the early 1960s was heir to the practices of long-standing racial segregation and oppression, with rampant Ku Klux Klan violence, public marches, boycotting of white-owned businesses and harassment in retaliation for early voter registration efforts. These efforts came to a tumultuous head in 1965 due to a myriad of events *January 1965 the Natchez chapter of the NAACP received a new charter. *In the months following the Selma marches in the spring of 1965, the Natchez NAACP conducted a voter registration drive, which was met with violence from the Ku Klux Klan. *President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, 1965, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting. *On August 27th George Metcalfe, Natchez NAACP president, sustained serious injuries from a bomb that had been planted under his car at the tire plant, this enraged many black residents of Natchez, sending them to the streets in protest in spite of efforts by Mississippi NAACP Secretary Charles

Evers to curb potential violence. *The Natchez NAACP presented a list of 12 demands to the City of Natchez; with threats to protest I the demands were not met. *The Natchez mayor & board met on September 2nd to consider the list of demands, but all demands were rejected. *Also on September 2nd Mississippi Governor Paul Johnson dispatched 650 members of the National Guard to Natchez to patrol, the first time the guard had been called out to keep peach since James Merediths integration of Ole Miss in 1962. *Secretary Evers, fearing a violent confrontation, dissuaded more than 500 blacks from marching and called instead for a boycott of downtown white-owned businesses instead; the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) urged the crowd to defy Evers. *Evers appealed to Dr. Martin Luther King, who sent Andrew Young to speak, along with a team of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organizers. *Governor Johnson pulled the National Guard days later and the first organized demonstration took

place on September 9th when 200 people marched peacefully on City Hall. A strictly enforced boycott of downtown white businesses continued. *On Saturday, September 25th nearly 1,000 people demonstrated in the streets of Natchez and PROUD TO TAKE A STAND COMMEMORATING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960S *All participants were arrested and charged with parading without a permit. filled, those over 12 years of age were sent to Parchman Penitentiary, more than 200 miles away. This act of intimidation was intended to cruse the movement, and the abusive treatment the marchers received was horrifying. Everyone was stripped of their clothing. Men and boys were kept naked, and housed

more than 10 to a cell, with fans blowing and windows kept open to the cold night air. Women and girls were hosted down but allowed to keep on their underwear. *All those imprisoned were given laxatives and allowed only minimal toilet paper; they were left to their own devices to post bond and find their way back to Natchez. The KKK harassed and threatened those who drove north to assist or check on the imprisoned marchers. *An additional 100 marchers were arrested on October 4th, bringing the total number arrested to more than 500. *On October 6th Judge Harold Cox lifted the injunction against demonstrations; 1,200 people, including the newly formed Natchez Deacons for Defense and Justice, a militant organization formed to protect the black community, organized a same-day march. *Mayor Nosser re-opened negotiations with the NAACP and its supporters. By mid-October the mayor & board agreed to parts of the initial 12 demands, originally presented in late August, and then

were immediately renounced. *Marches and boycotts continued through October and November. Six businesses closed, with the boycott now threatening the Christmas shopping season. *A tentative agreement was reached on November 29 th. NAACP Secretary Evers announced terms of the deal on December 1st and called for an end to the boycotts. Mayor Nosser formally announced the agreement on December 3, 1965. *Racially-incited killings continued in the Natchez area, with Ben White being murdered in 1966 and Wharlest Jackson in 1967. *In October 2015 the City of Natchez recognized the survivors of the Parchman Ordeal and the families of those participants who were deceased, as well as the participants and families of PROUD TO TAKE A STAND

NATCHEZ, MS CITY OF NATCHEZ DARRYL V. GRENNELL, MAYOR BOARD OF ALDERMAN Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, Ward 1 Billie Joe Frazier, Ward 2 Sarah Carter-Smith, Ward 3 Felicia Bridgewater Irving, Ward 4 Benjamin David, Ward 5 Daniel Dillard, Ward 6 CITY CLERK Megan Edmonds

MUNICIPAL JUDGE Lisa Dale CITY ATTORNEY Robert Bob Latham

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