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Oral history.; Zella McNair Weathersby was born January 1, 1929, in Mt. Olive, Mississippi. Mrs. Weathersby graduated from high school from Depriest (now known as Earl Travillion) in Hattiesburg. She attended Jackson State College and later did graduate work in elementary education at Jackson State University and the University of Mississippi. Mrs. Weathersby began teaching in 1953 at Hopewell Attendance Center. In 1968, she was transferred to Collins Elementary School, becoming the first African American teacher in the previously all-white school. She retired in 1991. Mrs. Weathersby has also been co-owner of Venia Park Funeral Home in Collins since 1980. She continues to live in the Mt. Pleasant Community and is a longtime member of Mt. Pleasant C.M.E. Church.

08 November 1997

Oral history.; Interview with John Daniel Wesley conducted on October 16, 1999. John Daniel Wesley was born in Lincoln County, Mississippi in 1926. He grew up on the farm his father leased and was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945. After returning from military service in 1946, he took over farming his father's land. In 1963, Wesley tried to register to vote and was turned away. He then began working with the SNCC to press for voter registration and civil rights.

16 October 1999

Oral history.; Interview conducted on September 18, 1980 with Phillip West (born 1946). He has served as president of the NAACP of Adams County and as second vice-president for the state.

18 September 1980

Oral history.; Interview conducted November 6, 2006 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at the Williams residence. Iola Williams was an activist in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Williams discusses her family's genealogical record, the establishment of Kelly Settlement where she lived, and the Mobile/Bouie downtown Hattiesburg community. Additionally, Williams talks about growing up in Hattiesburg, the state of education, and the role of the church within the black community.

06 November 2006

Oral history.; Interview conducted on August 20, 1999. Tommie Lee Williams was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1926. He worked for a short period in Las Vegas before entering the United States Army Signal Corp in 1944. He then returned to Vicksburg where he worked as a plumber. Williams was involved in civil rights activities and helped to raise funds to support civil rights workers.

20 August 1999

Oral history.; Interview with Charles L. Young conducted on November 14, 1998. Charles L. Young was born in Meridian, Mississippi in 1931. He served 2 years in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Young earned his B.S. degree in business administration from Tennessee State University. He was elected to the State Legislature in 1979 for the eighty-second district which covers most of Meridian.

14 November 1998

Oral history.; Interview with Willie T. Allen conducted on Ferbuary 18, 2008. Willie T. Allen was born in southwest Grenada County in 1930. Allen graduated from high school in 1951 and served 2 years in the United States Army in clerical service. After returning in 1953, Allen finished his college education at Jackson State University in 1956. He then returned to Grenada to take up a teaching position in Holcomb. Topics discussed include: family, education, discrimination in education, registering to vote, Ku Klux Klan intimidation, demonstrations and boycotts.

18 February 2008

Oral history.; Interview with T. B. Bankston recorded on October 16, 1999. T. B. Bankston was born in October, 1917 and grew up sharecropping at Duck Hill, near Tupelo, Mississippi. Topics discussed include: traditional medicine, childhood memories, cooking, scrapping cotton, Ku Klux Klan violence, and racism.

16 October 1999

Oral history.; Interview with Reverend Johnny Barbour and Clara M. Barbour recorded on January 25, 1999. Reverend Johnny Barbour was pastor at Alan Chapel A.M.E. Church in Meridian, Mississippi in 1967. Both he and Clara Barbour were active in the civil rights movement, working with the NAACP as coordinator for voter registration and education. Topics discussed include: demonstrations, segregation in public accommodations, registering to vote, Ku Klux Klan intimidation, cooperation with segments of the white population of Meridian.

25 January 1999

Oral history.; Interview conducted on October 22, 1996 with Mrs. Josephine Clemons Bell (born 1909). Mrs. Josephine Clemons Bell's teaching career in elementary education in the public schools of Natchez-Adams County spans twenty-nine and a half years. After retiring from teaching in 1974, she became increasingly involved in politics and community affairs. She served on the Adams County Democratic Executive Committee and the Federation of Democratic Women's Organization, where she was president for twelve years. She was a member of the Mississippi Teachers Association (MTA), National Education Association (NEA), among others.

22 October 1996

Oral history.; Interview conducted on May 2, 1995 with Miss Gladys Austin (born 1927). Miss Austin was born April 1, 1927 in Laurel, Mississippi. She graduated from Oak Park High School, received a B.S. degree from Tennessee A & I College (now Tennessee State University), and an M.S. from Northern Arizona University. She retired in 1990 after 40 years as a science teacher. She has been inducted into the Jones County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Hall of Fame in 1992. She was the second African American and the only African American female to receive this award and was recognized in Who's Who among America's Teachers, first edition 1990.

02 May 1995

Oral history.; Robert Beech was born in 1935 in Madison, Wisconsin. When he was a small child, his family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and this is where he spent most of his early life. Beech discusses the Chinese history within his family, particularly his grandfather's role in founding West China Union University. Beech initially attended Carleton College, where he met his wife. He finished his degree at the University of Minnesota. Beech first heard about the need for volunteers in Mississippi when working in a Presbyterian School in Chicago. In April 1964, he traveled to Mississippi alone, and he was put in jail for "littering," as he passed out leaflets. After returning to Minnesota a week later, Beech decided that he would return to Mississippi for a longer period of time with his wife. He was soon hired by a church in Hattiesburg and continued his involvement with the civil rights movement.

05 June 1999

Oral history.; Interview with Walter Bruce conducted on October 9, 1999. Walter Bruce was born on May 30, 1928, in Durant, Mississippi, in Holmes County. His mother was Georgia Powell Bruce, and his father was Walter Bruce Sr. During Mr. Bruce's childhood, his family sharecropped on a plantation. Mr. Bruce was in the Army for two years. As a civilian, his profession is carpentry. In early 1964, Mr. Bruce became a civil rights advocate, joining in at the Second Pilgrim Rest community, eventually becoming the chair of the Holmes County Freedom Democratic Party. For the past forty-one years, Mr. Bruce has been performing with the gospel group, the Soul Travelers. For the past thirty-plus years, Mr. Bruce has been on the MACE (Mississippi Action for Community Education) board.

09 October 1999

Oral history.; Interview conducted on November 11, 1995 with Curtis C. Bryant. Curtis C. Bryant was born in Walthall County, Mississippi in 1917. He worked for the railroad from 1940 to 1979, during which time he was an active member of the railroad union. In 1961, Mr. Bryant and Bob Moses were instrumental in starting the voter registration drive in Mississippi. Bryant was active in the NAACP and the Democratic Party. In retaliation for his civil rights advocacy, Mr. Bryant's barber shop was bombed.

11 November 1995

Oral history.; Interview with Otha Burton conducted on July 9, 1999. Otha Burton was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1950. He received his B.A. and M.A.T. degrees from Jackson State University, and a Ph.D. from Mississippi State in 1997. He took part in civil rights activism in Vicksburg to press for integration of schools and businesses. He discusses race relations in Vicksburg in the twentieth century and the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the city. He includes Vicksburg's Freedom Summer, the role of leaders, like Eddie McBride and Medgar Evers, and the importance of the Vicksburg Citizens' Appeal.

09 July 1999

Oral History.; Interview with John E. Cameron conducted on January 26, 1999. John E. Cameron was born in 1932 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He earned a B.S. degree at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He then attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee from 1952 to 1956. Cameron served as pastor in Meridian, Laurel, Hattiesburg, and spent 29 years serving at Greater Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi.

26 January 1999

Oral history.; Interview conducted on July 2, 1974 with Mrs. Ellie J. Dahmer at her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Dahmer was born in Jasper County, Mississippi in 1925. After completing high school at Jasper County Training School she attended Alcorn A&M College, now Alcorn State University. After her sophomore year, she transferred to Tennessee A&F in Nashville, Tennessee where she finished her degree. In 1951, she began teaching in Forrest County, Mississippi. It was there that Dahmer met and married Vernon Dahmer, a civil rights' activist and two-term president of the local chapter of the NAACP. In 1966, the Dahmer's house was firebombed by the Ku Klux Klan as a result of Vernon Dahmer's work in the civil rights movement in Mississippi. Vernon Dahmer died shortly thereafter due to lung damage caused by smoke inhalation. Ellie Dahmer taught school for many years in Richton, Mississippi until her retirement in 1987.

02 July 1974

Oral history.; John Henry Dawson was born December 8, 1923 in Lumberton, Mississippi. During World War II, he was drafted into the United States Navy in 1943. He served for nearly three years until 1946. After the war, Dawson spent 9 years working at the Gulfport Veterans' Hospital. Here he met African American physician, Felix Dunn, and the two men planned to establish a business in the community. Dunn and Dawson decided to open a service station located on 19th Street and 33rd Avenue, and Dawson served as the manager for 38 years. He was also a member of the Gulfport branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. Other topics discussed include interactions with Medgar Evers, the impact of Sheriff Curtis Dedeaux on the community, and Dr. Dunn providing medical assistance for various civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s.

26 May 2009

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