Civil Rights Caravan

By: Nick Adam Email
By: Nick Adam Email

This weekend supporters from across the country, black and white, young and old, are gathering in Philadelphia marking a solemn anniversary.

48 years ago this week, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were killed by a group of Ku Klux Klansmen for helping African Americans register to vote in Neshoba and Lauderdale Counties.

Saturday morning a group met in Meridian to get ready to head to Neshoba County as the annual conference promoting civil rights continues.

"I'm just a person who wants to be involved, and feel that this is the right thing to do," says Ruth Jones, a Meridian native, "and we really should be involved, and I'm really excited about the kids who are here from various places and will be going with us to Philadelphia."

Other folks taking part include men and women who were in this area during that time of social strife in the 1960s, including a Minnesota resident who arrived the day of the murder of those civil rights workers.

"I come back down once in a while to just pay my respects," says Charles Leck, "and go out to the site where they were murdered and bow my head for them."

Once the caravan arrived in Neshoba County Saturday morning, the schedule for the day included a conference discussing un-prosecuted or not fully prosecuted civil rights cases in Mississippi, along with a memorial service remembering those who died in the movement, and a picnic that was set to wrap up late Saturday afternoon.

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