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We remember ‘64: Hattiesburg hosts Freedom Day March

[Xpost from The Student Printz]

Supporters took the streets January 22 to reenact the 50th anniversary of the Freedom March in Downtown Hattiesburg.  The march began at the intersection of 7th and Mobile St. and concluded at the Forrest County Courthouse. | Kate Dearman, Printz
Supporters took the streets January 22 to reenact the 50th anniversary of the Freedom March in Downtown Hattiesburg. The march began at the intersection of 7th and Mobile St. and concluded at the Forrest County Courthouse. | Kate Dearman, Printz

by Crystal Garner, The Student Printz, on January 23, 2014

Old negro spirituals rang from the intersection of Seventh and Mobile Street as marching supporters of Hattiesburg reignite

d the legacy of local civil rights veterans Wednesday morning.

The event recognized courageous activists who fought for voter registration among blacks with a re-enactment of the 1964 march around Hattiesburg’s court house. More than 150 participants attended the event, marking its 50th anniversary.

According to Don Holmes, vice president of the The University of Southern Mississippi student group Remembering ‘64, said the march was a bold statement.

march5
Rev. John Cameron

“We want to say we remember those who lost their lives and those who put selfless service out to fight for our right to vote,” Holmes said. “We want to say ‘We remember ‘64,’” Holmes said.

Southern Miss faculty and members of Remembering ‘64 called for city officials to erect a monument honoring Hattiesburg activists.

Former freedom school student Anthony Harris recalled an incident where he was arrested while protesting near the very corner where he stood. Harris said his mother’s firm word’s “Let him go!” is what released him from jail.

The audience including Harris’s mother, Daisy Harris, reacted with words of support.

Valerie Arnold, assistant to Johnny Dupree, read a proclamation on his behalf.

Allan Branstiter is a writer and Ph.D. student studying U.S. History at the University of Southern Mississippi. Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, he is writing a dissertation examining the experiences of Civil War veterans in the American West. He is a veteran of the Iraq War and a former candidate for the North Dakota State Senate.

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