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From A-Z: Dynamic Black Women In History

Unita Blackwell Unita is an American civil rights activist who was the first African-American woman, and the tenth African American, to be elected mayor in the U.S. state of Mississippi. Blackwell was a project director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and helped organize voter drives for African Americans across Mississippi.

Some people say the Jewish Holocaust never happened and clearly the belief must be that the African American Holocaust never happened and that people of African decent should get over this horrific time in American History because it was many years ago. This part of American History cannot be forgotten nor ignored.

An African-American tenant famer's home in Mississippi. (Photo: Marion Post Wolcott, September 1939)

GREENVILLE, MISSISSIPPI c. 1940-1960's | A Family of Three, Standing in the Studio. Though highly segregated, Greenville was the site of a thriving middle-class, African-American community. (photographer: Henry Clay Anderson)

'FREEDOM SUMMER' 1964 MISSISSIPPI | Mississippi Freedom School in session. Freedom Schools were temporary, alternative free schools for African Americans mostly in the South. They were originally part of a nationwide effort during the Civil Rights Movement to organize African Americans to achieve social, political and economic equality in the United States.

MISSISSIPPI 1966 | June 5, 1966, equipped with a sun helmet, walking stick, and Bible, James Meredith, began a 220-mile March Against Fear from Memphis, TN, to Jackson, Miss., to encourage African Americans in Miss. to register to vote and prove an African American man could walk free in the South. On the second day of the March outside Hernando, Miss. he was shot, but completed the march after recoveri from his wounds. 4,000 Black Mississippians registered to Vote as a result.


Photos: America in Color from 1939-1943

African Americans fishing in creek near cotton plantations. Belzoni, Mississippi, October 1939. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Telegram from James Meredith to Robert Ellis, Registrar of the University of Mississippi, 1962 After a series of legal battles, James Meredith became the first African American accepted at the segregated University of Mississippi.  Backed by a Supreme Court ruling, he attempted to register at the Ole Miss campus in Oxford on September 20, 1962 but was personally blocked by Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett.

GREENVILLE, MISSISSIPPI c. 1960. | Motorcycle Riders, in front of Henry Clay Anderson Photo Service | Henry Clay Anderson ran the Anderson Photo Service in Greenville, Mississippi from the late 1940s to the ’60s, and during that time every aspect of African-American life came before his lens. Though highly segregated, Greenville was the site of a thriving middle-class, African-American community—an aspect of American life that is all-too-rarely documented.