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Mississippi Moments Podcast

These are the stories of our people in their own words. From sharecroppers to governors, the veterans, artists, writers, musicians, leaders, followers, all those who call Mississippi home. Since 1971 we've collected their memories. The technology has changed, but our mission remains the same: to preserve those wonderful stories. Listen to Mississippi Moments Monday through Friday. at 12:30pm on MPB think radio.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jul 18, 2016
MSM 489 Joseph E. Wroten - The Great Dissenter

Joseph Wroten of Greenville was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1951. During his three terms in office, his progressive views on issues like civil rights often put him in opposition to the rest of the legislature, so much so that he was dubbed “The Great Dissenter” by the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

In this episode, Wroten reflects on Washington County’s history of Progressivism. He discusses the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission—created by the legislature in 1956 to promote continued racial segregation—and why he first supported and then opposed the agency’s formation.

Wroten details how his liberal views often made him the target of threats and hate speech and how his support for the admission of James Meredith to Ole’ Miss cost him a fourth term in office.

PODCAST EXTRA: As a minister’s son, Wroten grew up Methodist in segregated Mississippi. He remembers how the United Methodist Church sought to lead by example during the Civil Rights Movement.

1 Comments
  • a year and a half ago
    Jeff E Lewis
    What a wonderful recall of a courageous pioneer in Grenville. Joe Wroten invited me to serve as a page in the Mississippi House in 1957 or 1958.