Holmes County, Mississippi

Black people made up roughly 75 percent of population in Holmes County, Mississippi, but unlike most places in the state, they owned nearly 73 percent of the land. Many Black landowners purchased their property through low interest loans from the Farmers Home Administration, a part of the New Deal. This Black landownership fostered fierce independence among local residents, who built a strong community of struggle long before SNCC arrived in the early sixties. Local farmers, including Hartman Turnbow and Ozell Mitchell, made up the core of the local Movement and worked closely with SNCC activists on voter registration activities.