Neshoba County, Mississippi

Neshoba County was a notorious Klan-stronghold in eastern Mississippi. Despite racial violence, the local Black community determinedly fought for their rights. In 1948, the Black communities of Mt. Zion and Poplar Springs built their own high school, called Longdale High School, so that the community’s children could receive secondary education. The school also served as the meeting place for the local chapter of the NAACP. In the summer of 1964, Neshoba gained national infamy with the murders of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, who were organizing a freedom school in nearby Philadelphia, Mississippi.



“The Justice Department and the Philadelphia 17,” undated, Michael J. Miller Civil Rights Collection, USM