Sara Criss’ Civil Rights Memoir #87: Conundrum

“On January 26 [1970] at the Leflore County Court House, about 500 persons attended a meeting called for the purpose of showing support for the public schools in the face of recent total integration orders. One of the parents who conducted the meeting asked, ‘Will we live with this or will we try to destroy our schools?’ He added, ‘Our purpose is to bond the community together,’ and ‘Maybe we better try to learn to live with our people.’

“It was announced that the former all-white schools had lost 206 students since the previous Friday when the court order was issued. ‘We are going to use all of our energy to get quality education as long as the people want it,’ said John McHann, principal of Greenwood High School. At one point, De La Beckwith came to the front of the room and urged parents not to let their children attend the public schools under the new orders. At this point a number of persons began leaving the room, including 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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