Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #22: Sunday Tensions

“Statements were being issued on all sides, and some of the ministers referred to the tense local situation by urging that their congregations face these problems as Christians. Some of the members of their congregations had stronger feelings, however, and at the front doors of some of the downtown churches at least two members of the Citizens Council took their stand each Sunday to be sure that no unwanted worshippers slipped in unnoticed.

“The Reverend Eade Anderson, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, said ‘In meeting problems like this remember we are Christians and keep bitterness and hate out of our hearts and keep alive a genuine concern for all men.’ Later a Negro woman who worked for the Presbyterian kindergarten was seen going in the Court House to register, and some of the prominent men in the church suggested that she should be fired. She lost her job but was then employed by the minister, who soon after was told he should be looking for another church. Soon after he left Greenwood.

“There was always this constant fear that if you spoke out against some of the tactics being used you would be branded a racist, and in some cases it would mean the loss of a job.”

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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1 Response to Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #22: Sunday Tensions

  1. Lynda Yeldell says:

    Have just started reading this blog and am amazed by the content, photos and history that I’m seeing! This is wonderful.

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