Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Hattiesburg was the economic and social center of Southeast Mississippi. Black people made up roughly 32 percent of the city’s 34,989 residents. As of 1961, only 25 Black people were on the voting rolls. Theron Lynd, the county’s white registrar, used everything in his power to deny Black people the right to vote. To jumpstart a voter registration drive, local activist Vernon Dahmer invited SNCC to Hattiesburg in 1962. Movement activity soon escalated, and by the following winter, SNCC held a “Freedom Day” at the courthouse in which hundreds of people protested Lynd’s refusal to register Black voters.



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Howard Zinn, “Incident in Hattiesburg,” The Nation, May 18, 1964, crmvet.org

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Pamphlet for Freedom Day in Hattiesburg, “Give Them a Future in Hattiesburg,” January, 1964, Danny Lyon, dektol.wordpress.com