Mississippi: The Most Racist State in America

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"The two races have lived here together. The Negro has been here in America since 1619, a total of 344 years. He is not going anywhere else; this country is his home. He wants to do his part to help make his city, state, and nation a better place for everyone, regardless of color and race. Let me appeal to the consciences of many silent, responsible citizens of the white community who know that a victory for democracy in Jackson will be a victory for democracy everywhere” (Medgar Evers in Jackson Mississippi, 2013). This excerpt is taken from a 17 minute speech by Medgar Evers on May 20, 1963, in response to the vocal criticisms of Mayor Allen Thompson’s view of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as being ‘outside agitators’. This historic broadcast, in which Mississippians for the first time were presented a black perspective on segregation and civil rights, has never been located. Nonetheless, recordings of irate reactions by Mississippians slurred with racist epithets, “What are you people of Mississippi going to do? Just stand by a let the nigger take over. They better get his black ass off or I am gonna come up there and take it off” (Pinkston, 2013), have been found preserved at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Some say, history is the process by which people recall, lay claim to and strive to understand. On that day in May 1963, Mississippi’s lay to claim: Racism. Between 1882 and 1952 Mississippi was the home to 534 reported lynchings’ more than any other state in the nation (Mills, 1992, p. 18). Jim Crow Laws or ‘Black Codes’ allowed for the legalization of racism and enforced a ‘black way’ of life. Throughout the deep-south, especially in rural communities segr... ... middle of paper ... ... Double Day and Company. Pinkston, R. (2013, June 12). 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers' broadcasting milestone. Retrieved from CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/50th-anniversary-of-medgar-evers-broadcasting-milestone/ Pratt, R. A. (1992). In The Color of Their Skin: Eduation and Race in Richmond Virgina 1954 - 1989 (p. 4). Charlottesville: The University Press of Virigina. Roland, J. (2013, 10 31). Intent of the Fourteenth Amendment was to Protect All Rights. Retrieved from www.constitution.org : http://www.constitution.org/col/intent_14th.htm Southern Manifesto on Integration . (1956 ). Congressional Record (pp. 4459 - 4460 ). Washington, D.C.: Goverment Printing Office . Vaught, S. (2003 ). The White Citizen’s Council of Montgomery, 1955-1958: The Politics of Countermovement, Moral Culture and Civic Bigotry. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how mississippi's response to the brown v board of education ruling was swift and vitriolic. the clarion-ledger editorial concluded that may 17, 1954 may be recorded as a black day of tragedy for the south.
  • Explains anderson, w. (2004). supreme court cases through primary sources. brown v. board of education: the case against school segregation.
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