WARNING – CONTAINS RACIALLY EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
After Biloxi’s sand beach was reconstructed in the 1950s, only white people were allowed to use it. In this episode, Clemon Jimerson remembers when a trip to the beach meant riding with his family to Gulfport.
On April 24, 1960, Biloxi physician, Gilbert Mason led a group of 125 black citizens to the whites-only beach. Jimerson recalls how that protest turned violent when they were attacked by an angry mob. As protestors relaxed and recreated on the beach, they were approached by a large group of white men armed with sticks, bricks, chains, and other weapons. Jimerson describes the bloody mayhem that followed and how he ran away, fearing for his life.
After the Biloxi Beach Wade-in of 1960, civil rights groups organized voter registration drives, sit-ins, and other demonstrations across the Gulf Coast. Jimerson discusses his role in these events.
Bess Simmons grew up in Liberty, Mississippi during the 1920s and 30s. In this episode, she recalls riding to school on her sister’s pet donkey and later, in a homemade school bus. Simmons had a chance meeting with her future husband when he came to her school for an FFA event. She explains why they didn’t start dating until years later.
In the early 1950s, Simmons worked as a substitute teacher, and with various civic groups. She remembers welcoming new McComb residents as a member of the Howdycrats.
As a longtime resident of McComb, Simmons met many interesting people and wrote about them in her weekly newspaper column. She recounts the story of Ms. Eddie Newman, known far and wide as a talented seamstress.
PHOTO: McComb, Mississippi in the 1950s.
Copiah-Lincoln Community College opened their Natchez Campus in Fall of 1972. Carolyn Vance Smith remembers those early days and her role in starting the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration.
Each year, the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration focuses on Mississippi’s contributions to the world of Literature. Smith discusses how they select the theme for each conference. Since 1989, the NLCC has worked to present memorable programs for conference attendees. Smith recalls two of her favorite events from past years.
The NLCC always includes events and programs for students from the junior high level through college. Smith explains why it is important to make Literature and Writing more accessible to young people.
PHOTO: Natchez Democrat