JoAnne Prichard Morris
JoAnne Prichard Morris was executive editor of University Press of Mississippi from 1982 to 1997. She is the widow of Harper’s Magazine editor, William Morris. Currently she is senior editor of the Jackson Free Press. She co-authored a book with Unita Blackwell: Barefootin’: Life Lessons from the Road to Freedom (2006), describing Unita Blackwell’s incredible life experiences. The book was published to high acclaim, winning a prestigious Christopher Award for “Affirming the highest values of the human spirit.” “I was privileged to work with her on this book, and I am proud to call her my friend.”
Bill Minor grew up in Southeast Louisiana, graduating from Tulane University in 1943 with a degree in journalism. He is a World War II Naval Combat Veteran. He was journalist for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans as the Mississippi correspondent, a post he held for 30 years, covering the violent civil rights era. When he retired from the newspaper in 1976, he stayed in Jackson, Mississippi, and became a statewide syndicated political columnist. Minor has won numerous awards, among them in 1966, the Louis Lyons Award given by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University for “Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.” He was installed in the Hall of Fame of the Mississippi Press Association in 1991. In 1997, he became the first recipient of the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, presented by the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. This chapter is his eulogy at the funeral for Hazel Brannon Smith.
Constance Curry grew up in North Carolina, graduating from Agnes Scott College in Atlanta in 1955, and then studying abroad as a Fullbright Scholar. She was the first white woman appointed to the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee’s Executive Board. She served as a field representative for the American Friends Service Committee from 1964 to 1975 and worked in Mississippi helping the Carter family and others in their efforts to desegregate the South. She served as Atlanta’s Director of Human Services from 1975 to 1990. She has held fellowships at the University of Virginia’s Center for Civil Rights and Emory University’s Department of Women’s Studies. She has a law degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law. She currently lives and writes in Atlanta
The Reverend Barbara Devine Russell
Many historical treatises document the importance of Annie Devine in the civil rights movement. This chapter, written by her daughter, Barbara, with contributions by her son, Andrew, and grandson, Caleb, is unique in bringing Annie Devine to the reader as a mother, grandmother, friend and human being. Her Christian values are emphasized by her daughter, a Christian minister, as extremely influential in her life and in her decision to help others.
Monica Land, Grandniece of Fannie Lou Hamer
Monica Land, originally from Chicago, has been a writer for more than 20 years. She is an award winning author with extensive research in black history. She has produced several television biographies on Dorothy Dandridge and interviewed numerous civil rights figures, including Rosa Parks, Mamie Till-Mobley (mother of Emmet Till), Myrlie Evers (widow of MedgarEvers, black civil rights leader), and James Meredith.
Stanley Dearman is retired editor and publisher of the Neshoba Democrat, a newspaper in Philadelphia, Mississippi for which he worked for 40 years until 2000. He was awarded the University of Mississippi’s most prestigious journalism award, the Silver Em Award, which recognizes an outstanding journalist with a Mississippi connection. Dearman had been editor of the Campus newspaper at the University of Mississippi during his senior year in 1959. He was inducted into the Mississippi Press Association’s Hall of Fame in June, 2005. He was the first recipient in 1989 of the Neshoba County’s Citizen of the Year Award. Dearman took over operation of the Neshoba Democrat at a time when the county had become infamous for the disappearance of three young men during the 1964 “Freedom Summer” campaign. Stan Dearman was a lifelong friend of Florence Mars.
Lawrence Guyot, a member of SNCC, played an important role in the 1964 “Freedom Summer Project” in Mississippi and has continued to participate actively in defending the rights of others. Lawrence Guyot is a graduate of Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi and Rutgers University Law School in Newark, New Jersey.
Mr. Guyot presents his memories of June Johnson in the context of her birthplace, Greenwood, Mississippi, her affiliation with SNCC and the involvement of the Department of Justice in the civil rights movement in Mississippi. He declares that June Johnson was involved in all aspects of the movement in Greenwood, through her affiliation with a number of civil rights organizations, including SNCC, COFO, MFDP, NAACP and SCLC.
Rose Freeman Massey
Rose Freeman Massey, a high school colleague of June’s who joined her in the civil rights movement, was arrested with June and shared a cell with her in the Montgomery County Jail.
Charles McLaurin, one of the major leaders in the civil rights movement in Mississippi, recalls first meeting June Johnson during a SNCC crisis that followed a shooting incident in late summer of 1963 that seriously wounded a Tougaloo college student. This incident prompted a call for an all out show of force from SNCC workers to counter the attempt of the White Citizens Council’s effort to stop SNCC’s voter registration drive in LeFlore County.
John C. Brittain
John C. Brittain, a civil rights attorney from the North who worked in Mississippi during the civil rights movement, recalls June Johnson as a “Civil Rights Agitator.”
Regena Lynn Thomas
Regena Lynn Thomas currently serves as the senior pastor of Bethel AME Church in Glassboro, New Jersey. She had been Secretary of State for New Jersey from 2002 through 2006, and previously served as a leading political consultant for the Democratic National Committee and for the District of Columbia Mayors Marion Barry and Sharon Pratt Kelly. Ms. Thomas was graduated from Moorehead State University in Kentucky.