Friends celebrate living civil rights legends

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

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By Ethelyn J. Williams

Special to The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Friends of The Civil Rights Movement held its Tenth Annual Living Legends Celebration during its 2024 Civil Rights Weekend Celebration on Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. until noon at Mt. Gillard Missionary Baptist Church located at 8376 US Highway 80 West, on the Robert “Bob” Mants, Jr. Memorial Highway in White Hall.

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For those who bore the burden in the heat of the day, the following persons were recognized, honored and commemorated as living legends. They were W. C. Haralson, Sadie T. Haralson, John Hinson, Mary M. Jackson, Willie Nell Mays, Napoleon Mays, Elzie McGill, Mary R. McReynolds, Frank Miles, Jr., Mattie L. Moorer, Frank Wagner, Josephine Wagner and Willie ‘Bo’ Wilson.

These persons, participated in the 1965 March, cooked meals for the civil rights workers, worked as the first African American female clerk and EMT (emergency medical technician) responder for the Town of White Hall, formed a Social and Savings Club to discuss the human and voting rights, ran for the local political offices and school board positions under the Black Panther Party label and were members of a local church allowing mass meetings to be held.

Two of the thirteen Living Legends honored this year are still living and family members were present to receive the honors for those now deceased.

Because of their sacrifices, injustices, harsh treatment and intimidation faced during the Civil Rights Movement, the honorees set a path for generations to come to follow in their footsteps.