Ordinary People | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Ordinary People

Holmes County, Miss., was 72 percent black in the early 1960s, but less than 1 percent of eligible African Americans were registered to vote, while 100 percent of eligible white voters were registered. As Sue Sojourner states in her photography exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum, "The rule of Southern whites (so often outnumbered by blacks) depended on denying democratic voting rights to blacks."

"The Some People of That Place" is a documentary photography exhibit on local Holmes County blacks and their civil rights movement in Holmes County from 1963-67. Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in political science and journalism, moved with her husband, Henry, from California to Mississippi's Holmes County in 1964 and remained there for five years as "outside agitators." Through her photographs and commentary, Sojourner focuses on the roles of Mileston's "First 14" (the first people who attempted to register at the courthouse in 1963 Holmes County), the Holmes County community center as the base for the movement, and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's 1967 campaign.

These are the real people, the grass-roots organizers, whose lives touched Sojourner so deeply that she is dedicated to telling their stories, revealing the determination and bravery of the local people to the public.

See Sojourner's exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History at State Street at Capitol. Free. Call 576-6920 for times.

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