Marching in Mississippi Part 2

We spent our second day in Mississippi touring around the countryside with a large caravan of 50 or more people and vehicles in the 50th Annual Mississippi Civil Rights Martyrs Memorial Service.

Our group and multiple others from around the country sang freedom songs while waiting for the caravan to start.

Our group and multiple others from around the country sang freedom songs while waiting for the caravan to start.

The day started off meeting and singing freedom songs with other groups that had come from near and far from New York, Indiana, and another group from Minnesota. Our purpose was to honor those who fell during the movement and also asked that justice be brought to the murderers of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. The murderers have not been officially charged with the crime, we learned yesterday.

These men were Civil Right activists who mysteriously disappeared after investigating the burning of the Mt. Zion Methodist Church in Neshoba County until their bodies were discovered six weeks later. Civil rights workers disappeared before this group did, but this event got national attention because there were two whites, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, and one black man, James Chaney.

This is James Chaney's home in Meridian, Miss., currently under construction.

This is James Chaney’s home in Meridian, Miss., currently under construction.

After an hour delay due to the personal matters of the leader, John Steele, the caravan went to James Chaney’s home in Meridian, Miss.

The caravan continued onto Chaney’s gravesite, located in the countryside of Neshoba County. The grave had been vandalized ever since it was put in place, Steele said. Large black brackets held the headstone and the picture of Chaney had been shot out. We sang freedom songs and prayed at the gravesite.

Our last stop was the gravesite of James Chaney. It has been vandalized many times and the headstone was held in place by large black brackets. The picture of Chaney was also shot out.

Our last stop was the gravesite of James Chaney. It has been vandalized many times and the headstone was held in place by large black brackets. The picture of Chaney was also shot out.

After the gravesite, we drove to Rock Cut Road, which is where the actual murder took place. John Steele, instructed everyone to pick up a stone so that we would have a piece of history and something to remember James Chaney.

The caravan was then broken up when we tried to find the park where the picnic was being held. Finally, after getting lost a few times we found the park and enjoyed Popeye’s chicken and socializing with the others, we were back on the bus to the hotel after a long day.

 

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One thought on “Marching in Mississippi Part 2

  1. Hello Travelers! Was just listening to a story on NPR’s Fresh air with Teri Gross about Freedom Summer, and was half expecting her to talk about your great trip! These blog posts are awesome- keep them coming as you can. Best to all. Ted Reilly, Academic Affairs.

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