When I arrived in Hattiesburg’s shabby bus station on July 4th, 1964, the sight of the city’s quiet business district of mid-sized office buildings and shops brought to mind the cliché “sleepy southern town.” It was a mistaken impression, for as civil rights historian Neill McMillen later observed, if “the good and God-fearing” white people of Hattiesburg would not tolerate incursions by “scruffy flame-throwers from outside,” they were equally rigid in their denial of the rights of citizenship to people with black skin.1 And, as I would learn later, if they disdained the raw brutality of the unreconstructed Delta region, they exercised an exquisite cruelty in denying those rights.
KeywordsFatigue Depression Transportation Assure Bors
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