Facts about Mississippi, Secession, Slavery and the Confederacy | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Facts about Mississippi, Secession, Slavery and the Confederacy

The JFP’s archives of historically factual stories about slavery, secession and the Civil War in Mississippi, with lots of links to primary documents.

Civil Rights

Amid Growing Scrutiny and Pressure, State Flag May Land at Supreme Court

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Pressure to change the Mississippi state flag has intensified since shocking images emerged of torch-wielding white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., marching to protect symbols honoring the Confederacy—a weekend rally that ended with an anti-racist protester dead.

Civil Rights

A Flag For Us All

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If, as a state, we insist that symbols that were selected precisely for their oppressive, coercive charge remain, we send a message to the rest of the nation and world that we do not fathom how their continued display has the power and potential to harm the hearts and minds of some.

Civil Rights

Dear Confederates, Leave My Heritage Alone!

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Mississippi's history is one of beauty and blood; music and malevolence; literature and lamentation. We can't ignore the ugly parts; those stains don't wash out. But we sure as hell don't have to build monuments to them—literal or ideological.

Civil Rights

Fighting an Old War

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While Russia and Confederate statues deserve media coverage, they are also easy targets that don't challenge the corporate state.

Civil Rights

White America’s Overdue Leap of Faith

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Many white people want to just "move on." They'll shudder dismissively if you challenge the myths, preferring to leave the statues and flag and true history alone because it's just "dredging up the past."

Civil Rights

Talking Back to Gov. Bryant: Flag Needs to Change with White Support

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Actor and activist Aunjanue Ellis talked back to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant today to denounce his refusal to back changing the state flag to one without a symbol of the Confederacy.

Civil Rights

Charlottesville and the Mississippi Flag

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"It is time to bring down that flag."

The Confederate Problem

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I've said it before, and I will say it again and again, as many times as I have to: The Confederate symbol represents bigotry, racism and hatred. This is not an opinion. This is a fact.

Civil Rights

Only One ‘Side’ in Fight Against White Supremacy

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No quest for justice, equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all will "replace" people of any race or ethnicity, although some statues may well end up in a museum for people who want to view, honor or study them.

State

UPDATED: Rep. Thompson, Speaker Gunn: Remove Confederate Emblems on Mississippi Flag

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Today, U.S. Representative Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) calls for the removal of all confederate monuments and emblems in the United States Capitol and on the Mississippi state flag.

National

UPDATED: Mississippi Officials Condemn White Nationalist Violence

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Some Mississippi officials are denouncing white nationalist violence that killed one person and injured several others during the weekend in Virginia.

National

Deadly Rally Accelerates Removal of Confederate Statues

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The deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is fueling another re-evaluation of Confederate statues in cities across the nation, accelerating their removal in much the same way that a 2015 mass shooting by a white supremacist renewed pressure to take down the Confederate flag from public property.

Civil Rights

UPDATED: Most Black Lawmakers to Boycott Legislative Conference Over Mississippi Flag

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The majority of African American lawmakers in the Mississippi Legislature plan to boycott the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Biloxi this weekend.

Civil Rights

This Little Light of Ours: Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Shines a Light on History

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The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opened its doors temporarily on Tuesday, June 27, for a preview of the impactful, honest and focused features, like the Freedom Riders exhibit.

Civil Rights

'We've Done It Right': Civil Rights, History Museums Offer Peek of What's Ahead

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Myrlie Evers-Williams, wife of slain civil-rights leader Medgar Evers, stood before a crowd of 600 people in 2013 for the groundbreaking of two new museums to document Mississippi's history.

Civil Rights

Mississippi Man Takes Confederate Flag Fight to High Court

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A black Mississippi citizen is taking his case against the state's Confederate-themed flag to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Civil Rights

Time to End Free Passes for Racist Lawmakers

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Leaders can feign disgust at Rep. Karl Oliver's words, but their cozy relationship with racial rhetoric and symbols emboldened him and may lead to the violence he encouraged. It is time to stop this game now.

Civil Rights

Facing the Mirror, From Kingston Frazier to Karl Oliver

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Little Kingston Frazier is our mirror. The brutal murder of this 6-year-old in Jackson last week reflected the absolute best and the abhorrent worst of our community.

State

ACLU of Mississippi Calls for Investigation into Rep. Karl Oliver's Past

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The ACLU of Mississippi has called on Gov. Phil Bryant, House Speaker Philip Gunn and the House Ethics Committee to investigate whether Rep. Karl Oliver's statement was a breach of Code of Ethics or House rules.

Civil Rights

Black Caucus: White Rep Should Resign Over Lynch Comment

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Black lawmakers in Mississippi are demanding the resignation of a white colleague who said Louisiana leaders should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments.

Civil Rights

Fallen Confederate Monuments Could Find New Home at Beauvoir on Coast

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As the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee came down Friday afternoon in New Orleans—along with three other Confederate monuments in the city including Jefferson Davis—the future of the monuments did not seem to be much of a conversation.

State

Speaker Strips Karl Oliver of Vice-Chairmanship After ‘Lynched’ Facebook Post

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House Speaker Philip Gunn stripped Rep. Karl Oliver, R-Winona, of his vice-chairmanship today after Oliver’s Facebook post Saturday, which said those supporting the removal of Confederate monuments in Louisiana “should be LYNCHED!”

Civil Rights

Rep. Karl Oliver's Lynching Call Turns Spotlight to Mississippi Statues

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When Rep. Karl Oliver decided to take to Facebook Saturday night to vent his anger over the Confederate statues coming off public property in Louisiana, he ignited a firestorm over his call for the kind of terrorism the Old South is still known for: lynching.

Politics

UPDATED: State Rep. Karl Oliver Calls for Lynching Over Statues, Later Apologizes

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Rep. Karl Oliver posted on Facebook that those taking down Confederate statues "should be LYNCHED!" He later apologized, but many are calling for his resignation.

Civil Rights

Gov. Bryant Proclaims 2017 'Confederate Heritage Month' at Last Minute

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This year, Gov. Phil Bryant waited until the last hour to sign the 2017 proclamation declaring April 2017 as "Confederate Heritage Month." He signed it March 31.

Civil Rights

Court Won't Revive Suit Over Confederate-Themed State Flag

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A federal appeals court has blocked an African-American attorney's effort to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the Mississippi state flag. He says he'll take the case to the Supreme Court.

Justice

Home to the ‘Worthy Scrap'

Myrlier Evers-Williams is not boycotting Mississippi and its progeny; she wants to introduce young people to her first husband.

Civil Rights

Dear Gov. Bryant: Stop Pandering to Racism

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Leaders like Gov. Phil Bryant must stop holding white Mississippians down to the bigotry of low expectations for fellow white people.

Cover

Stolen Lives: Remembering the Tragedy of Slavery

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An Instrument of Change

A half moon disappeared as the sun rose out of the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 1, 1832. The humid coastal winds filled the sails and carried the ship through the waves as J.W. Martin captained the Schooner Wild Cat, a 40-plus ton sailboat, out of the port of Charleston, S.C.

City & County

Hundreds Rally Against Confederate Sign on Mississippi Flag

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Civil-rights leader Myrlie Evers-Williams, Mississippi-born rapper David Banner and a prominent South Carolina lawmaker are calling on Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its state flag.

Politics

A GOP Supermajority, Slavery and an Embattled Flag

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Ray Shores, who lives in Yazoo County and is a member of the Dixie Alliance, said he and flag supporters have challenged House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, to a debate on the issue.

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A National (and State) Housecleaning?

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It is long overdue, but the nation is talking about slavery now and what the Confederate flag really stands for, what should be renamed and what should come down.

Politics

Confederate Flag Divides Mississippi Politicians

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In the wake of the Charleston massacre, the nation is questioning South Carolina's Confederate flag, and in turn, looking to Mississippi's state flag that features the symbol.

City & County

Sen. Horhn to Seek Yes or No Vote in Legislature on State Flag Change

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State Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said he will file a bill asking lawmakers to take an up or down vote to keep or change the Mississippi state flag, the last to bear a symbol of the Confederacy.

State

Ole Miss Student Senate Votes to Remove State Flag; Now Administration Must Decide

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Student senators at the University of Mississippi voted Tuesday night to ask the school administration to remove the Mississippi flag from campus because it contains a Confederate battle emblem that some say is an offensive reminder of slavery and segregation.

Politics

Speaker Gunn: Mostly Silent on Mississippi Flag Since Call Last Year to Change It

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Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn, who became the first prominent Republican last summer to call for Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its flag, said Monday that if the flag design is going to be reconsidered, it should be put on a statewide ballot just as it was 15 years ago.

Civil Rights

What ‘Confederate History Month’ Really Is

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Celebrating Confederate History Month without even attempting to put it in its proper context of human slavery and racism is just another one of the things we do to refuse to let go of our white supremacist past.

Civil Rights

The Last Confederate Stronghold in America

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"This is no longer a Mississippi fight. This is a battle for the soul of America."

Civil Rights

Legislators Back Down from Confederate Flag Threat

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The Mississippi House has halted a push to require that universities fly the state's Confederate-themed flag.

Civil Rights

Mississippi House to Colleges: Fly Flag or Lose Tax Break

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Mississippi universities that refuse to fly the Confederate-themed state flag could lose proposed tax breaks, the latest twist in a long battle over a symbol critics see as racist.

Civil Rights

State Flag Debate Back in the Spotlight

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Rep. William Shirley, R-Quitman, is on a mission to make universities fly the state flag. The state flag debate flared up yesterday in the House of Representatives when Rep. Shirley introduced an amendment requiring all institutions of higher learning to fly the state flag if they want to continue to receive state funding.

Politics

Gov. Bryant Has Problem with Universities Taking Down the State Flag

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Gov. Phil Bryant told reporters Tuesday that he is concerned over state universities taking down the state flag, though, mainly due to concerns about following state law.

Civil Rights

The Mississippi Flag Case Against Gov. Phil Bryant: A First

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The case against Gov. Phil Bryant for continuing to fly the current Mississippi flag could be the first in which judges consider an Equal Protection Clause claim based on government speech, if a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel rules that Grenada attorney Carlos Moore has standing to make his case.

Civil Rights

Lawyer: Mississippi Flag Sends Message of 'White Supremacy'

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In the latest legal wrangling over one of Mississippi's most prominent symbols, a lawyer for a man who objects to the state's flag said Tuesday the Confederate-themed banner sends a message of "white supremacy."

Stinker Quote(s) of the Week: ‘Good Ole Boy’ Talking Points By You, the Readers

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We asked readers on Facebook to share some of the good-ole-boy/girl reasons they were seeing to keep the Confederate emblem in the Mississippi state flag.

Civil Rights

Actress Aunjanue Ellis: Mississippi Flag Damages African American Community

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Actress and Mississippi native Aunjanue Ellis recently spoke to the Jackson Free Press by phone on heritage, hate and bringing down the flag.

State

#ConfederateHeritageMonth: Your Essential Primer to How It Blew Up in Mississippi

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This month, as I'd hoped would happen when I broke the story, many people around the country—especially historians—are using the hashtag #ConfederateHistoryMonth to share facts about the Confederacy.

Civil Rights

Updated Flag Lawsuit Says Rebel Emblem 'Vestige' of Slavery

An attorney is making additional arguments in a federal lawsuit that seeks to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the Mississippi flag.

State

Legislature Makes No Move to Remove Confederate Symbol From State Flag

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators this year won't attempt to redesign the last state flag that features the Confederate battle emblem because leaders say they can't find a majority to remove the symbol from the 122-year-old banner.

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Mississippi's Flag: A People Problem

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Long a lightning rod, the Mississippi state flag has come under fresh scrutiny in recent weeks following a mass killing of nine African Americans at a church in South Carolina.

Civil Rights

Mississippi Flag: A Symbol of Hate or Reconciliation?

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Kitsaa Stevens is arguably one of the more passionate defenders of the current Mississippi state flag, which has included the most notorious Confederate battle emblem in its canton since 1894.

Civil Rights

The Curse of the Mississippi Flag

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The 1894 Mississippi flag, with the Confederate battle emblem as its canton, represents much more than an antiquated piece of cloth.

Editorial

Learn from History: Change the State Flag

Now, our elected leaders should get on the right side of history, listen to the will of the people and embrace progress. Change the flag.

Confederate Heritage Rally July 6, 2015

Confederate Heritage Rally July 6, 2015

Civil Rights

Waving the Wrong Flag

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Working-class southern whites have a right to feel rebellious. The problem is they're waving the wrong flag to show it.

National

From Terrorists to Politicians, the Council of Conservative Citizens Has a Wide Reach

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When I clicked on Dylann Roof's alleged racist "manifesto" yesterday, I wasn't surprised at all to see the name of the Council of Conservative Citizens name-checked. In some ways, I was happy to see it.

State

Confederate Flag, Heritage Defenders Rally at Capitol

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A crowd of more than 50 people gathered on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol this morning, armed with Confederate flags.

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Rebel Monuments in Jackson and Mississippi

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This is a probably incomplete list of metro-area memorials to the war for white supremacy, compiled at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Civil Rights

Music Legend Steve Earle: The Mississippi Flag Must Change

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Acclaimed singer-songwriter Steve Earle is the latest person to join the flag debate though his voice comes in the form of a good-old-fashioned protest song.

Editor's Note

Driving Old Dixie Down

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It is long past time to declare independence from a "lost cause" that wasn't worth fighting for and from those who insist on keeping us stuck there. Mississippi now is better than our past, and our people and the world around us deserve to know that.

Confederates Speak: Yes, We Fought the Civil War Over Slavery

If you grew up in the South, and especially if you're white, you've likely been told repeatedly (maybe even in a classroom) that "the Civil War wasn't fought over slavery." (They might have even called it the "War Between the States" or even the "War of Northern Aggression.")

Justice

Mississippi Governor Declares April 'Confederate Heritage Month,' No Slavery Mention

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Two weeks before the Mississippi Legislature allowed 19 state flag bills to die in committee, Gov. Phil Bryant took out a pen and signed an official governor's proclamation, declaring the month of April "Confederate History Month."

Politics

Sharon Brown: A Woman on a Mission to Change the State Flag

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Sharon Brown isn't waiting for the Legislature to start the process to change the Mississippi flag.

Chaining Mississippi to Its Despicable Past

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I'll honor my Confederate heritage when we've done anything substantial to right hundreds of years of wrongs.

Cover

Design Your Own Flag

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We want to invite our readers to use this page to come up with a new flag design that better represents the Mississippi of 2015 (and let's be honest, just about anything would better than the one that's flying).

Politics

Jim Hood Says He'll Defend the State In Lawsuit Against State Flag, But Flag Should Change

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Mississippi's attorney general said Wednesday that he will defend his state's flag against a lawsuit that seeks to remove its Confederate battle emblem, even though he thinks the flag hurts the state and should change.