Monthly Archives: December 2011

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #17: Man on the Street

“Many of the newsmen were nice and wanted to be friendly as did some of the FBI but we lived in fear that someone would see us being nice to them. I would have enjoyed inviting some of them to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #15: Voices of Reason

“Chief of Police Curtis Lary and his assistant Miller Wyatt were credited with containing the situation and keeping things from getting completely out of hand. Curtis was a frail, quiet man with a gentle nature, and he never let his … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoirs #14: Young Man on the Rise

“When the Court House marches continued, the Commercial Appeal called Kingsley and Sellers back to Memphis and sent young Larry Speakes, who later was President Reagan’s spokesman and deputy press secretary, to help me. Larry was not long out of Ole … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoirs #13: Foot-in-Mouth Disease

“Mayor Charles Sampson, later our backdoor neighbor and good friend, and the city attorney Hardy Lott were both staunch segregationists and members of the Citizens Council. They loved to issue statements saying that the Federal government had taken law and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #12: Days of Demonstrations

“I usually stood across the street from the Court House to observe the demonstrations and then helped the folks from the Commercial with the stories which were sent in to the Commercial Appeal on my teletype in the kitchen. They made fun … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #11: On the Map

“By the next day some 55 newsmen, including a reporter from the British Broadcasting Company, had arrived in Greenwood to cover the story. They were asked to register at the police station, which they did. All of the television networks … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #10: Trouble on Our Doorstep

“Meantime voter registration was picking up and there was a lot of tension in the community. Prior to this time [1963] Negroes had been allowed to register, but anyone registering to vote had to pass a test, and most of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #9: Fiery Nights

“On February 20 [1963] three Negro businesses burned and fire officials said there was no suspicion of arson. Sam Block, one of the original civil rights workers to come to Greenwood with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, reported the fire … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #8: Nelson Benton and CBS News

“About this time [early 1963] the first of the national news media began showing up in Greenwood. Hearing about the commodities issue, CBS sent a crew in to cover the story. Nelson Benton was heading up the crew of three, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment