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And One Was a PriestThe Life and Times of Duncan M. Gray Jr.$

Araminta Stone Johnston

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604738285

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604738285.001.0001

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The Philadelphia Murders

The Philadelphia Murders

Mississippi, 1964

Chapter:
(p.195) Chapter 11 The Philadelphia Murders
Source:
And One Was a Priest
Author(s):

Araminta Stone Johnston

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604738285.003.0011

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes Gray’s involvement in the activities of the Mississippi Council on Human Relations (MCHR); the murder of three civil rights workers, two of them white Northerners and one a black Mississippian, in Neshoba County in east central Mississippi; and Gray’s assessment of the impact of Freedom Summer in a memorandum addressed to Leslie Dunbar, executive director of the Southern Regional Council in Atlanta.

Keywords:   MCHR, Mississippi Council on Human Relations, civil rights workers, Freedom Summer

JULIAN BOND, who served as communications director for the 1964 Freedom Summer effort, writes, “My job for Freedom Summer would be to spread the word that the Civil Rights Movement was staging a confrontation with the nation’s most recalcitrant state. The summer’s events provided more than enough opportunity to contrast democracy’s dream with its reality in Mississippi.”1

Democracy’s reality for African Americans in Mississippi was certainly grim enough. When the 1960s began, only 7 percent of black Mississippians who were eligible had managed to register to vote. Five majority-black counties had no registered black voters. Intimidation by whites had made this situation possible, and blacks were well aware that the dangers they ran from white registrars if they attempted to register could go well beyond humiliation and ridicule.

In addition to the political realities that blacks faced, economic and educational realities were equally daunting. Black Mississippians’ incomes were the lowest of any state and 86 percent lived below the federal poverty level. Infant mortality among African American babies was twice that of whites, and two-thirds of housing occupied by blacks in Mississippi was designated either “deteriorated” or “dilapidated.” Half of that housing lacked water and two-thirds of it lacked a flush toilet. In 1964, Mississippi school districts spent an average of $81.86 per year on a white child’s education and $21.77 on each black child’s. In 1960, the median number of years of schooling completed by white Mississippians was eleven; for blacks it was six.2

When word of Bond’s coming “confrontation” spread among Mississippi’s white leaders, that was exactly what they began to prepare for. Bond writes, “In preparation for the summer, the city of Jackson, Mississippi, increased its police force from 390 to 450; they added two horses, six dogs, and two hundred new shotguns; stockpiled tear gas; and issued gas masks (p.196) to every policeman. They amassed three canvas-topped troop carriers, two half-ton searchlight trucks, and three giant trailer trucks to haul demonstrators to two large detention compounds at the state’s fairgrounds. The city’s pride was ‘Thompson’s Tank,’ named after the incumbent mayor—a thirteen-thousand-pound armored battle wagon built to the city’s specifications at a dollar a pound.”3

Many white Mississippians were nearly hysterical at the prospect of the “outside agitators” coming into their state to interfere with the Mississippi “way of life.” Gray, on the other hand, recalls not only meeting with some of the “agitators’” leaders, but also working to help arrange dialogue between them and black and white Mississippians through the auspices of the Mississippi Council on Human Relations (MCHR).

Gray had been involved in council activities in the 1950s, and when in the fall of 1961 a biracial group of Mississippians met to resurrect the group, he had joined again. By May of the following year, council members met at Tougaloo College and approved a “statement of purpose” which called for “promoting respect for all men regardless of race, color, or creed.” In the 1960s, this apparently mild statement was not accepted as such by all Mississippians, however, and the Jackson Citizens’ Council quickly responded with a three-page letter sent to its members which ended with the ominous words, “We are confident that members of the Jackson Citizens’ Council will know how to deal with this threat to our community.” Since this was the Citizens’ Council and not the Klan, its members were content with such tactics as recording license plate numbers and taking photographs of those who attended Human Relations Council meetings, but these and other methods of intimidation were successful in convincing those who had agreed to serve as officers of the organization to change their minds.4

Despite the veiled threats and other forms of intimidation from the Citizens’ Council, MCHR succeeded in getting on its feet and soon began to meet quarterly. In addition to Gray, its board included a number of Mississippians active for racial justice in the state: Aaron Henry, president of the state NAACP; Rabbi Perry Nussbaum, the leader of Temple Beth Israel in Jackson, whose synagogue would later be bombed by the Klan; the then Reverend Bernard Law, only three years a priest and then assistant to the Catholic bishop in Jackson, but later cardinal of Boston; and Dr. A. D. Beittel, president of private Tougaloo College near Jackson—almost the only place in the state that the biracial group could meet prior to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Early in 1963, Gray addressed the gathering in a talk titled “Religion and Race in Mississippi.” The February meeting particularly stuck in his mind (p.197) because it was, as it turned out, the last time he saw Medgar Evers alive. In his talk, he spoke of how “Christian theology knows nothing of the category of race,” and added, “race is a human category, not a divine one, and, as St. Paul says, we should no longer ‘regard any man from a human point of view.’” He acknowledged that Christian churches as organizations had done too little in Mississippi to fight racial injustice, but reminded his hearers that “the Church is first and foremost people; and whenever and wherever individual Christians have been active in the struggle for racial justice, the Church has also been active in and through them.” Later that year, the group elected him as its president.5

Describing itself as “not primarily an action group, although there is nothing in its charter to prevent its taking action,” the MCHR claimed to provide “an opportunity for men and women of good will, of both racial groups, to meet together and to work for better understanding and better human relations in Mississippi.” In pursuit of this purpose, members of the Council on Human Relations met again at Tougaloo in March 1964 with five representatives of COFO—the Congress of Federated Organizations— which had been created as the umbrella organization of various civil rights groups to organize and implement Freedom Summer. Those present to talk about the summer plans were representatives of major civil rights organizations: Robert Moses of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, David Dennis of the Congress of Racial Equality, Arnell Ponder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Johnny Frazier and Aaron Henry of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and also Pearlena Lewis, a Tougaloo student who had been involved in the May 1963 lunch counter sit-ins in Jackson. Henry addressed them about plans for the summer.6

Such meetings as the one at Tougaloo attracted little attention, but Julian Bond’s promise of summer “confrontation” and the presence of the white students were sufficient to bring national media attention to Mississippi once again. One more reason for that media presence in the state was an event that occurred early in the summer. In late June, just as 250 of the Freedom Summer student volunteers who had trained in Ohio were preparing to leave for Mississippi, three civil rights workers, two of them white Northerners and one a black Mississippian, were murdered in Neshoba County in east central Mississippi near the state’s border with Alabama. On June 21, Robert Moses, now acting as director of voter registration for the summer effort, told the volunteers training in Ohio, “Yesterday three of our people left Meridian to investigate a church burning in Neshoba County. They haven’t come back and we haven’t had any word from them.” (p.198) As Bond notes, Mickey Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney “were already dead when Moses made his announcement.”7

Schwerner, twenty-four, and his wife, Rita, had moved from New York City to Meridian, Mississippi, in Lauderdale County in January as paid organizers for CORE. Chaney, twenty-one and a Meridian native, joined them as a volunteer and had invested so much of his time and energy in the effort to encourage local blacks to vote and participate in Freedom Summer activities that by the time the three were killed, Schwerner had received approval from state CORE leaders to add Chaney to the local office’s very limited payroll. Goodman, twenty, a student volunteer from City University of New York, had arrived in Meridian the day before his murder.

Although Schwerner and Chaney had spent most of their time in Meridian, and although Lauderdale County had a chapter of the Klan which included some of the county’s law enforcement officers among its members, sources agree it was no accident that the murders occurred in neighboring Neshoba County. William Bradford Huie, who covered the search for the three bodies and the ensuing trial for the New York Herald Tribune, wrote shortly after the murders:

The power structure in Meridian controls the police. The police are told, and they do as they are told, or they get fired and have trouble getting other jobs. Moreover, they have trouble renting houses or getting their own water and electricity turned on….

The smart way to resist “agitators” in Mississippi is not to break their heads but to protect them and let time and circumstance break their hearts. The men with the power in Mississippi know this. Only the peckerwood politicians and the jerks in the backwoods don’t know it. This is why the prosperous growing cities of Jackson, Meridian, and Biloxi are relatively safe for “agitators”—and why most of the violence occurs in places like Philadelphia and McComb. Violence is bad business.

Mickey Schwerner lived five months in Meridian without a hand being raised against him. He walked and rode down dark streets unmolested. Had he remained in Lauderdale County and not ventured into the rural counties, he’d be alive today.8

At the time of the Neshoba County murders, Meridian, where the Grays would move in 1965, was the second largest city in the state after the capital of Jackson. In its heyday, it had been a center for rail transportation (p.199) of timber and cotton, but with the decline of the railroads, Meridian had also declined from its peak. But in the 1960s, it was still relatively healthy and relatively progressive. It had an interesting population mix. In addition to its core of Protestants, the citizenry included a significant number of Irish Catholics whose families had come south to build the railroad and never left. Like Irish Catholics elsewhere in America, they played an important role in local politics. Meridian also possessed a substantial Jewish community, mostly the descendents of German immigrants who had fled anti-Semitism in Bohemia in the mid-nineteenth century, and they had established a strong business presence in Meridian. Although the descendents of these German immigrants were not invited to join local private clubs or organizations like the Junior League, they often went into business with gentiles and served on local boards of directors, and there was little overt anti-Semitism in the town. In general, in fact, these three groups—all white—mingled fairly freely, supporting each other in their civic endeavors. One Irish Catholic attorney observed, only half-jokingly, “Meridian was a weird place because it was populated by Baptists and other illiterates, financed and owned by the Jewish community, but the government was always run by the Catholics. The only people excluded were the blacks.”9 African Americans represented about 40 percent of the population, significantly lower than in some other parts of Mississippi.

Exactly what life in Meridian was like for its black citizens in the 1960s depends on whom you listen to. Mickey Schwerner’s wife, Rita, observed shortly after her husband’s murder, “There was a good reason why Mickey wanted to do more in the outlying counties. The Negroes in Meridian were relatively well off. They suffered from a minimum of police brutality. They were not herded into a ghetto. About seventeen hundred of them voted. The schools, although much inferior to the national average and segregated, were better off than elsewhere in Mississippi. Many Negroes lived comfortably. Therefore most of them, particularly the adults, were unwilling to take risks. So in Meridian our support was chiefly teenagers. But in the outlying counties life was much harder for Negroes, they had less to lose, so the adults were ready to take more risks.”10

Los Angeles Times Atlanta bureau chief Jack Nelson, who covered Meridian later in the 1960s, points out that “until the late 1940s, Meridian was the only city in east Mississippi where a black student could go to a four year high school,” and that, in fact, the county had two such schools for blacks. But because there were relatively few good economic opportunities for blacks in Meridian, many young people looking to get ahead left for (p.200) Northern cities, just as they did in other parts of the South. Despite this exodus, the community had “strong local leadership” among its pastors and businessmen, according to Nelson.11

But not all members of the black community agreed with Nelson’s assessment of the town’s black leadership. Obie Clark, a community activist who had moved to Meridian from the more rural Kemper County to the north, thought many of the black leaders were too accomodationist and too inclined to look out only for their middle-class interests.12 But Meridian had hosted a visit from Freedom Riders in 1961, which, in part because of black leaders’ contacts with Meridian law enforcement, occurred without serious incident.13 When Martin Luther King and his aide Andrew Young came to town, the pastor of First Union Baptist Church had them stay at his home; his church was a center for civil rights activity and the location of an early Head Start center, despite the opposition of more than half his congregation, who were afraid of their church being targeted by the Klan.14

That fear was reasonable. In the summer of 1964, forty-four black churches in Mississippi were either bombed or burned. In the first six months of 1968, six black churches in the Meridian area were burned.15 Clark, a member of First Union Baptist, recalled the “many nights” of pulling armed “shift with other deacons and other people in the community to guard that church from being bombed.”16 Charles Young Sr., later elected to Mississippi legislature in 1980, recalled similar guard duty in his neighborhood when residents learned that a neighbor’s home had been targeted for Klan bombing.17

Gray’s view of Meridian was a positive one, despite the Klan activity in the area. “Yes, the Klan was there—not parading down the street, but you knew they were there. Among other things, they’d make phone calls to people who disagreed with them. But in spite of the fact that I’d never lived there, I must have known fifty people there, leaders in the community, who were real open-minded in their views of racial issues. A lot of them were connected with St. Paul’s [Episcopal Church] there.”18

Whatever one’s exact assessment of the racial climate in Meridian and surrounding Lauderdale County, most agree, as we have seen, that it was no accident that the murders of the three civil rights workers occurred elsewhere. Although the “causes” of the crime were multiple, in one sense the murders had their origin in the June 16 burning of a black church in the Longdale community, a small, black farming settlement eight miles east of Philadelphia, the county seat of Neshoba County. Two weeks earlier, Schwerner and Chaney had visited Mt. Zion Methodist Church in Longdale to talk to the congregation about holding a Freedom School at the church (p.201) during the summer for the purpose of preparing blacks to register to vote. The majority of the congregation agreed, and as one woman present said later, “I guess the word got out that we was going to have a Freedom School.”19

“The word” did indeed quickly reach the ears of a group of Mississippians organized as the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Its founder, a Mississippian by the name of Sam Bowers, had first joined another Klan group, headquartered in Lousiana and known as the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1955. A few years later, as the Civil Rights Movement grew, Bowers came to the conclusion that the Original Knights were not sufficiently active in combating the challenge to “the Mississippi way of life” and formed the White Knights, with headquarters in Laurel, Mississippi, where Bowers lived.

Bowers was an interesting figure in his own right, and bits of his biography are startlingly like Gray’s: both came from prominent Mississippi families; both were students at Jackson’s Central High School in the 1940s (Bowers was two years older than Gray and left Jackson before his senior year at Central, so the two did not know each other in high school); both studied engineering at Tulane University, although Bowers did not receive a degree; both served in the navy during World War II, although Bowers served in the Pacific; and both identified themselves as Christian. In fact, Bowers was fond of describing himself as a priest, although, as with his Christianity, that meant something different to him than it did to Gray. Bowers’ priest was a “warrior priest,” and in a 1994 interview with theology professor Charles Marsh, Bowers laid out his understanding of his role: “There are two really powerful figures in the world: the priest and the preacher. I think I came here as a priest, though not a preacher. A priest is interested in visible, public power relations; this is what makes him powerful as a warrior. A preacher is an evangelist; he will tell people what to do. But the priest will arrange the means and operations to implement this into concrete action. When the priest sees the heretic, he can do only one thing: he eliminates him.”20

As Marsh notes, between 1964 and 1967, Bowers, as Imperial Wizard of the White Knights, “was suspected of orchestrating at least nine murders, seventy-five bombings of black churches, and three hundred assaults, bombings, and beatings.”21

Although Mt. Zion’s impending Freedom School probably did play a role in the Klan’s decision to burn the church, the burning turned out to serve the double purpose several days later of attracting Schwerner and Chaney back to Mt. Zion, where they could be prey for their murderers.

(p.202) With Chaney and his other volunteers, Schwerner had been busy since January in Meridian and the surrounding area integrating churches, organizing boycotts, and running a community center in the black neighborhood in which he and his wife lived. As a result, he quickly became the symbol of “outside agitation” to area racists.

At the same time Schwerner was at work in Meridian and the surrounding area, the U.S. Congress was debating what would become the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and Mississippi politicians did not lose the opportunity to whip up emotions in the state with their claims about the cataclysmic effects the bill would have if it passed. It was as if, as journalist William Bradford Huie notes, “Satan was battling God.”22 In this climate, it was all too easy for Bowers to get his followers’ enthusiastic agreement to “eliminate” Schwerner as the symbol for all that was “wrong” in the nation and the state.

The murder seems to have been initially planned for the night of June 16, when the White Knights in Lauderdale and Neshoba County apparently expected Schwerner to visit Mt. Zion again. Leaders of the congregation did indeed gather at the church late in that evening, but for the purpose of conducting other church business rather than meeting with Schwerner. In fact, early that morning, Schwerner, his wife, and Chaney had left Meridian for Ohio, where the training for Freedom Summer volunteers would take place.23 So on the night of Tuesday, the sixteenth, the White Knights who gathered at Mt. Zion, cheated out of their opportunity to get Schwerner, instead contented themselves with forcing the church leaders out of the building, beating several of them, and then burning the church. According to Huie’s account, the arson was a spur-of-the-moment decision on the part of the Lauderdale County contingent of the White Knights.24

It took several days for the Mississippi civil rights workers in Ohio to learn about the fate of Mt. Zion and its leaders. A Philadelphia businessman had managed to get Jackson newspapers to refrain from publishing anything about the arson while representatives of a New Jersey firm who were considering locating a plant in Neshoba County were visiting, and it was several days later that Bill Minor, the Mississippi correspondent for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, got wind of the events and broke the story.25 When Schwerner did learn what had happened, apparently on June 20, he made immediate plans to return to Mississippi with Chaney and a number of student volunteers, including Goodman.26 Because Schwerner and Chaney assumed that the church burning was the result of their visits to Mt. Zion and their urging the congregation to hold a Freedom School there, they felt responsible for its fate and that of its leaders.27 Rita Schwerner was convinced to remain in Ohio another week to help train the next (p.203) group of volunteers. Schwerner, Chaney, and the students left Ohio around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 20. As they drove south that day, the U.S. Senate finally gave its approval to the civil rights bill that Southern senators had filibustered for months.28

Schwerner and the others arrived in Meridian around 8:30 Saturday evening.29 The next day, the date of the summer equinox as well as Father’s Day, Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman piled into the COFO station wagon for the trip to Longdale. Given the dangers they knew they could face, they agreed that if they had not returned by 4:30 p.m., volunteers in the Meridian office should begin telephoning concerning their whereabouts.30

They reached Longdale, surveyed the damage, and visited with several church leaders who told Schwerner that the men who had come to the church were looking for him. In the early afternoon, the three headed back to Meridian, but soon afterwards their car was stopped for speeding by Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price.31 Price radioed two Mississippi Highway Patrolmen in a nearby car for assistance in transporting the three to the county jail, ostensibly so he could find a magistrate to deal with the ticket he had issued, certainly not a normal procedure for dealing with speeders.

Unknown to the three, Price was a member of the local chapter of the White Knights, and once he had the three jailed, he contacted his boss, Sheriff Lawrence Rainey, who was in Meridian visiting his wife in the hospital, and Edgar Ray Killen, an ordained Baptist minister and the man in charge of the Lauderdale-Neshoba Klavern, to tell them that he would hold the civil rights workers until around ten that night.32 When CORE staffers contacted Price in search of the three, Price denied that they were prisoners in the jail.33

Killen got busy rounding up his Klansmen. Around 10:30 p.m., after the speeding fine had been paid, Price released his prisoners, and once again, they headed back toward Meridian. Price, on the pretext of accompanying them to the county line, followed, and soon stopped the station wagon again. Although by this time the three were undoubtedly suspicious enough to be in fear for their safety, they were unarmed and apparently felt they had little choice but to obey a law officer’s commands. Price ordered the three into his car and quickly drove them the four miles to the site of their murder—a side road off the highway to Meridian. Before midnight the three were dead, shot by the assembled White Knights; by dawn their bodies had been buried in a farm pond dam under construction about six miles from the murder site. Six weeks later, as a result of information from an informant, the F.B.I. uncovered the bodies.34

(p.204) John Dittmer summarizes the impact of the killings in this way: “The Neshoba lynchings provoked international outrage and provided the Mississippi movement with the visibility it needed to force a reluctant federal government to take action against the Klan. The killings were decisive in persuading the state’s white elite that continued violent resistance to federal law would lead to political anarchy and economic devastation. Within the movement, however, the tragedy only left feelings of grief and rage. Publicly, the anger focused on the federal government’s failure to prevent the killings; privately, veteran activists also blamed themselves for the deaths of their three comrades.”35

Despite the grief, anger, and self-blame, the murders did not stop Freedom Summer. Something like a thousand volunteers came to the state during the summer. At least half of them were college students; the other half were doctors, lawyers, and ministers who contributed their summer vacation time to assist the student volunteers and their leaders. The summer’s efforts went first into voter registration training and attempts to register voters and into fifty “Freedom Schools” throughout the state that offered remedial education, literacy training, citizenship training, and black history to over two thousand students in the state whose ages ranged from preschool to elderly adults.36

Late in 1964, Gray offered his own assessment of the impact of Freedom Summer in a nine-page, single-spaced memorandum addressed to Leslie Dunbar, executive director of the Southern Regional Council in Atlanta. The memorandum was organized around a series of questions that Dunbar had sent to Gray and covered a variety of topics such as “General Effects of the COFO Summer Program on White Mississippi,” “Effects on Negro Mississippi,” and “Effects of COFO Program on Citizens’ Councils, Klan, and APWR [Americans for the Preservation of the White Race],” as well as “Does the COFO program help create or does it inhibit opportunities for moderate or liberal opinions to develop in Mississippi?”

On the first issue, Gray began by pointing out that “in general, White Mississippi has responded to the COFO program with hostility and resentment.” He attributed a large amount of the negative reaction to ignorance of the program’s goals and to “the biased and sensationalized advance publicity given to the program by most of the Mississippi press.” While pointing out that few of the volunteers and movement leaders lived up to the “‘horror’ stories of drunken brawls, Negro-white dating [something that CORE leadership had actively discouraged], and pregnancies among visiting students,” he also noted that there had been a few instances of COFO workers who had seemed “to make a point of staying dirty and wearing (p.205) dirty clothes as part of their revolt against bourgeois standards in general.” Gray wrote that the behavior of these few individuals had offended whites and that “some elements of the Negro community” and “some of the COFO workers themselves” had expressed their concern to him about the matter. He observed that “as ‘revolutionaries,’ a number of the COFO people tend to equate conformity with any of the customs of middle class respectability with weakness, and there is a studied effort on the part of some to make this point.”

Looking beyond this relatively minor issue, he turned to a wider analysis. “Comments thus far have dealt with the obvious and more or less measurable effects on the white community, but something should be said of the more subtle and indirect effects, which I, for one, feel have been considerable. One thing the outsiders have done, if nothing else, is to focus the attention of the whole country on the racial problems in Mississippi. This has produced resentment, of course, but it has forced white Mississippians to face the problem day in and day out. Very little creative response has yet been evident, but the confrontation continues, so that it becomes increasingly difficult for one to pretend that there is no problem and refuse to talk about it.”37

He went on by acknowledging the violence of “the white extremist element” and the growth of racist organizations like the Klan and Americans for the Preservation of the White Race, but continued on a more hopeful note. The “terrible” violence of the white extremists, he suggested, “seems to be producing a reaction among the more responsible elements in some communities at least which may mark the first faint signs of a new day. More and more whites are becoming increasingly fearful of the road down which the racial extremists are taking us, and they are beginning in some small way to assume responsibilities which they would have shunned not too long ago.” As evidence he pointed to the “peaceful desegregation” of schools that fall in several Mississippi school districts and to the public expressions of support for compliance with civil rights laws by the mayor of Jackson and the Jackson Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

He concluded, “In short, as regrettable as the cause may be, the fact remains that the violent reaction precipitated by the COFO program among one element of white Mississippians has in turned produced the first signs of a creative and constructive approach on the part of many responsible whites to the whole question of civil rights. I would emphasize that there has been only the slightest beginning and much of this, perhaps, only out of desperation, but I do think that much of what has happened, even if indirectly, has been the result of the summer program.”38

(p.206) As for the effects of Freedom Summer on black Mississippians, Gray noted, “There is no question but that the summer program was received enthusiastically by the overwhelming majority of Mississippi Negroes. Even those who were too timid, too vulnerable, or too remote to have direct contact with it got a psychological shot in the arm from it.

“Of particular significance,” he added, “was the active involvement and participation of the white students and other COFO workers. Whether or not any measurable gains were made in a given community, the very fact that these whites were willing to identify so completely with their cause gave a great boost to Negro morale.”39

Notes:

(1) . Julian Bond, “1964 Freedom Summer,” in Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: An Anthology of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, ed. Susie Erenrich (Montgomery, AL: Black Belt Press, 1999), 78–79.

(2) . Ibid., 79.

(3) . Ibid.

(4) . Copy of letter in Gray’s files.

(5) . Gray’s files.

(6) . Gray, interview with author, Jackson, MS, July 15, 2002.

(7) . Bond, 81–82.

(8) . William Bradford Huie, Three Lives for Mississippi (New York: WCC Books, 1965), 88–89.

(9) . Quoted in Jack Nelson, Terror in the Night: The Klan’s Campaign Against the Jews (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1993) 105.

(10) . Quoted in Huie, 117.

(11) . Nelson, 107–108.

(12) . Obie Clark, interview with Donald Williams, March 13, 1999, Civil Rights Documentation Project: Oral History Transcripts, http://www.usm.edu/crdp/html/transcripts/clark_obie.shtml (p.275) , courtesy of Tougaloo College Oral History Collection, Tougaloo, MS.

(13) . Charles Lemuel Young Sr., interview with Donald Paul Williams, November 14, 1998, Civil Rights Documentation Project: Oral History Transcripts, http://www.usm.edu/crdp/html/transcripts/young_charles-i.shtml, courtesy of Tougaloo College Oral History Collection, Tougaloo, MS.

(14) . Nelson, 108.

(15) . Ibid., 12, 124.

(16) . Clark, Civil Rights Documentation Project.

(17) . Young, Civil Rights Documentation Project.

(18) . Gray, interview with author, Jackson, MS, June 6, 1997.

(19) . Quoted in Huie, 141.

(20) . Quoted in Howard Ball, Murder in Mississippi, United States v. Price and the Struggle for Civil Rights (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004), 35–36. See Charles Marsh, God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), for an extended account and analysis of Bowers’ theology.

(21) . Marsh, 49.

(22) . Huie, 103.

(23) . Ibid., 124.

(24) . Ibid., 140.

(25) . Ball, 58.

(26) . Ibid., 59.

(27) . Ibid., 60.

(28) . Huie, 146–147.

(29) . Ibid., 153.

(30) . Ibid., 155.

(31) . Ibid., 159.

(32) . Ball, 60.

(33) . Huie, 173.

(34) . Ibid., 186–189, passim.

(35) . Dittmer, 247–248.

(36) . Ibid., 257–261; Charles Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 302–303.

(37) . Report on Freedom Summer from Gray to Dunbar, Gray’s files.

(38) . Ibid.

(39) . Ibid.