Interview begins at 16:30.
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Frances Jefferson, sister of Anne Moody, is interviewed by reporter Desare Frazier on Mississippi Edition MPB Think Radio.
Interview begins at 16:26.
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By Roscoe Barnes III
NATCHEZ, Miss. – The killing of Ben Chester White, one of the brutal murders that occurred in Natchez during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, will be discussed by Stanley Nelson at the Tuesday, Sept. 26, meeting of the Natchez Historical Society.
The meeting will begin with a social at 5:30 p.m. and Nelson’s presentation at 6 p.m., at the Historic Natchez Foundation at 108 S. Commerce St. The event is free to the public.
Nelson’s presentation is titled, “Murder on Pretty Creek: New Revelations on an Old Case.” It will focus on White, the 67-year-old Black man who was murdered in 1966 by the Ku Klux Klan. Nelson will talk about his alleged killers, two of whom, Ernest Avants and James Lloyd Jones, were charged but not convicted in 1967; and a third one, Claude Fuller, who was never brought to trial.
Nelson said Avants was convicted decades later in federal court and died in prison a short time after his conviction.
“The murder of Ben Chester White is one of the most haunting cases I have ever worked on,” said Nelson. “One Klansman confessed his involvement in the murder and identified the other two Klansmen involved. Yet a jury couldn’t reach a verdict in the confessor’s case because at least two Klansmen were on the jury.”
Nelson is the author of “Devils Walking: Klan Murders Along the Mississippi River in the 1960s (LSU Press, 2016) and “Klans of Devils: The Murder of a black Louisiana Deputy Sheriff” (LSU, 2021). He was the longtime editor of the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday, La.
“Mr. Nelson has long held a justifiable reputation in Natchez as being as or more effective than the FBI in sleuthing out the terror-network here that was the Klan,” said Alan Wolf, a director of the society and its program chair. “Mr. Nelson promises to be true to form at this important coming presentation.”
The alleged killers reportedly drove to White’s house on June 10, 1966, and lured him away with the promise that they would pay him two dollars to help find a dog. White, according to Nelson, was gentle man, who was known to be kind and even timid when it came to challenging the authority of a white man. He was not active in politics or the civil rights movement.
Nelson reported the story as follows:
After White got into their car, they took him to the Pretty Creek bridge in Homochitto National Forest. The men got out of the car with Fuller grabbing an automatic carbine and Avants, a shotgun. Fuller said to White, “All right, Pop, get out.”
White said, “Oh, Lord, what have I done to deserve this?”
Fuller unloaded 17 rounds into White, and Avant finished him off with a shotgun blast to his head. They threw his body over the bridge and onto the bank of Pretty Creek.
Nelson said the killing was said to be a set-up for another murder: “There also were stories that this was a murder ordered by higher ups in the White Knights to draw Martin Luther King to Natchez in protest where Klansmen would assassinate him. But was this really true? We’ll be sharing never before reported information about this and on other aspects of the case at the NHS meeting.”
The society’s program featuring Nelson is funded in part by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council through funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For more information on this NHS event, call 601-492-3000 or send email to email@example.com
Rev. Birdon Mitchell, pastor of Zion Chapel A.M.E. Chapel, said Hiram Revels was a man of many accomplishments.
The Rev. Birdon Mitchell, pastor of Zion Chapel, said he was excited about the opportunity to pay homage to Revels.
“I, along with the Zion Chapel family, am ecstatic that Hiram Revels, a former pastor of our church, the first president of Alcorn College, and the first person of color to serve in the United State Senate, is being recognized in our community,” he said. “The Lord’s name be praised! I’m truly thankful to all who are involved in making this event possible.”
The unveiling is free to the public. It is, in part, a celebration of Revels’ birthday, according to Norma West, event organizer. Revels was born on Sept. 27, 1827.
A banner featuring Bishop Richard Allen and Hiram Revels is displayed on the second floor of Zion Chapel A.M.E. Chapel.
Sculptor Bob Willis was selected by Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church to sculpt the bust of Hiram Revels.
Willis is a retired pastor with a passion for telling stories through his art. His work shows a special interest in Natchez’s history. Over the years, he has sculpted several busts related to Natchez, including one of John Roy Lynch, which he donated to the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture.
Willis said he appreciates the opportunity to recognize Revels through his work. “It was my honor to sculpt a bust of Hiram Revels, recognizing his faithful service to his community, to our Country, and to our God,” he said.
For more information on the Hiram R. Revels unveiling ceremony, call 601-807-0454.
Bob Willis’ bust of John R. Lynch is on display at the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture. Lynch was born enslaved in 1847 in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. In 1872, he became the first African American speaker of the Mississippi state house. He also represented Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He was the president of the Natchez branch of the NAACP when he survived an attempted assassination by the KKK. His car was bombed by the Klan on Aug. 27, 1965.
|George Metcalfe's obit appeared in the April 27 - May 3, 1989, issue of The Monroe Dispatch|
(click on image to enlarge)
I learned of the obit’s publication through FindaGrave.com. In the interest of clarity for the readers of this page, I’m writing it out in the space below.
Homegoing Services for Bro. George Metcalfe
During the integration crisis during the ‘60s, Brother George Metcalfe marched side by side in Mississippi with the Evers Brothers Charles and the late Medgar Evers according to Dispatch sources.
Brother Metcalfe was funeralized in the Peter Rock Baptist Church on Tuesday, April 25, Rev. F. D. Nash officiated. Brother Metcalfe’s homegoing was unexpected Friday, April 21, 1989 at his residence at 2117 Evans Ave.
Bro. Metcalfe leaves to cherish his memories four daughters: Georgia Lue Miller, Lottie Arnold, Bobbie Jean Gilbert, all of Los Angeles, Beatrice Smith, Wisner, La.; one son: Jimmy Metcalfe, Los Angeles, Ca.: 5 sisters: Earnestine Metcalfe, Florence Metcalfe, Martha Harris, of Monroe, La., Bertha Brass, Wisner, La., Barbara Gibson, Los Angeles, Ca.: 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
GEORGE METCALFE (1911-1989) Contributed by: Roscoe Barnes III Posted Sept. 20, 2023 George Metcalfe (Courtesy of Ed Pincus Film Collection,...