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Natchez Civil Rights Monument Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign
from Staff Reports - NEWS
February 6, 2019 -

Proud To Take a Stand press release

The Proud to Take a Stand Monument Commission of Natchez, Mississippi is seeking to raise $80,000 for a monument to memorialize the courageous citizens who suffered for the sake of social justice in October 2-5, 1965. The monument, to be erected on the grounds of the Natchez City Auditorium, will memorialize the Natchezians who participated in what proved to be the last major mobilizing campaign of the Mississippi Civil Rights movement.

Only a few weeks after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, George Metcalfe, president of the local chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), sustained serious injuries from a bomb planted under his car at the tire plant where he worked. The Armstrong Tire Plant and the International Paper Company were known to harbor members of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) who were intent on maintaining racial segregation.

The bombing of Metcalfe’s car caused a public outcry. Local African American leaders presented the City of Natchez with a list of demands for desegregation, then followed up with boycotts of white businesses and public marches. Mississippi Governor Paul Johnson called out the National Guard to maintain order in Natchez. On October 2, 1965, more than 300 people lined up to march to the Adams County Courthouse in defiance of a judicial injunction against the march. They were taken to the City Auditorium for holding, then they filled the Natchez City Jail and the Adams County Jail. Still others more than 12 years of age were sent to the maximum security units for felons at Parchman Penitentiary, more than 200 miles away where they were held in unimaginably abusive conditions for several days.

Subsequent marchers were arrested on October 3 and 4, bringing the total number arrested to more than 500. In response to the effective combination of marches and boycotts, by the end of the year the City agreed to many of the demands presented, including desegregation of public facilities, appointments of Negroes as policemen and to the school board, hiring or promoting blacks as sales clerks in local businesses, and the respectful addressing of all citizens by city employees. Donations may be made through: or the Proud to Take a Stand Monument page on Facebook. All donations are tax deductible. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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