Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #21: War of Words

“In another article in the Greenwood Voice, Dick Gregory was quoted as saying, ‘I think you are doing a wonderful job here, I think its equal to Germany Berlin, Japan, Korea, in fact we should suppress all of that because it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to know that tomorrow I may be called to any of the 4 corners of the world to leave my family and perhaps losing my life, and fighting for here in Mississippi.’ Gregory was quoted further: ‘It’s illegal for the Agriculture Department to pick up the tab for the distribution of commodities here in Leflore County. I think it should be done double in the rest of the country because Mississippi has been a bad boy.’

“During the period of the marches to the Court House the mayor issued daily statements to the media. On April 1, 1963, a statement read: ‘The City Council is pleased that the great majority of Greenwood’s local colored citizens refused to take part in the silly, noisy demonstrations that have lately disturbed the people of this city. The Council desires to express its gratification at the good sense shown by most of our colored citizens in not supporting the professional colored trouble-makers from other states who have been trying to create violence in Greenwood.'”

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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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