“Spring came again to Greenwood in 1964 and with it came the marches. Richard Frey, a 27-year-old white Pennsylvania civil rights worker, announced that a march for registration drive would be staged on March 25 with plans for 300 Negroes to take part. On that date there were close to 100 pickets led by Aaron Henry of Clarksdale, state NAACP chairman. They marched from eleven a.m. until four p.m. A number of white ministers took part.
“Hugh Arnett, director of urban church work of the United Presbyterian Church in the USA, gave a statement to the local paper stating: ‘Today we must return to our churches where we will continue to work for racial justice in our own communities. We want the people of Greenwood to know we have not come with a sense of moral superiority but with a deep sense of the tragedy of racial division and injustice today. We appeal to the ministers of Greenwood to open channels of communication between Negroes and whites in Leflore County.’ Upon leaving the ministers said they would recommend that the National Council of Churches organize another clergy task force for Greenwood.
“On March 31 after four days of picketing the police arrested 14 of the pickets at the Courthouse when they refused to obey Police Chief Curtis Lary. They arrived at the Courthouse in five cars shortly after one p.m. and set up a line, walking back and forth. The first one to disobey orders to restrict picketing to Cotton Street was Richard Frey. Another 22-year-old white man from San Antonio was the other white arrested along with eight Negro men and four Negro women. They were charged with disorderly conduct. They had been told the night before where they could walk, that they had been allowed to protest for four days and were monopolizing the stretch of sidewalk and main entrance of the Court House.
“Some of the newsmen from Atlanta said Frey had told them the night before that the situation here had reached a crisis. Frey, who was working with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, had been in Greenwood for several months and had been arrested several times. He always wore bib overalls and was living out in the black section of town. His father came down to get him out of jail one time. He was a very distinguished looking gentleman who was Dean of the Law School at the University of Pennsylvania. Gray [Evans] talked to him about his son and he told Gray that he had done everything he could to get him to stay out of the troubles down her and to come home and that he could not do a thing with him. He was just one of the many young ones who were idealistic during the ’60s and adopted a cause.”