Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #16: Watching Her World Shift

“Even though it was exciting covering news that was attracting national attention and seeing the top news folks in the country doing their job, it was very draining emotionally because we never knew from one day to the next what might happen to provoke a situation that would bring in Federal troops. Greenwood was so tense, and all of this was so new to us. It was spring time and during that very difficult period the trees on Grand Boulevard turned to green and the azaleas and other flowering shrubs were in bloom, and it was definitely our prettiest time of the year and my favorite time.

“I can remember on my 42nd birthday [April 1, 1963] riding down the Boulevard with tears in my eyes for what was happening to our town, saying a prayer that it would soon all be over and the all these agitators would leave town and let us go back to being the same old Greenwood. We did not know that it would never again be the same and that many heartbreaking times lay ahead for us.”

About sec040121

Hello....I'm in possession of a priceless collection of memoirs and memorabilia left by my mother, Sara Evans Criss. She was a native and lifelong (88 years!) devotee of our small town, who covered this peculiar and volatile corner of the world for 30 years as the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Greenwood bureau chief, a job that started out with debutantes and high school football and wound up spang in the midst of one of the twentieth century's most enduring social upheavals. This blog is dedicated to her memory and the legacy she left behind, both for her family and her community.
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