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Mississippi Freedom Trail monument to include Harvey Richards’ photo

Mississippi Freedom Trail

The state of Mississippi is building monuments to mark the Mississippi Freedom Trail that led to the end of segregation in Mississippi.  Amzie Moore will be part of the Freedom Trail to honor his leadership in the civil rights movement.  The photo shown in this post will be included on a monument being erected near his home town of Cleveland, Mississippi.   The photo was taken in 1963 at the farm of E. W. Steptoe (on the left in the photo) during a planning session between Bob Moses (3rd from the left), Amzie Moore (in the white overcoat) and Harvey Richards (fourth from the left) during the making of the film “We’ll Never Turn Back”.   Estuary Press is proud to contribute this photo which will honor the work which Harvey and Amzie did in support of the right to vote and the movement that ended legal segregation.

Mississippi Freedom Trail

Amzie Moore brought SNCC into Mississippi; in fact, he put voter registration on SNCC’s table. As Bob Moses who first met Moore during a 1960 Mississippi trip remembered years later, “Amzie was the only one I met on that trip giving the student sit-in movement careful attention, aware of all that student energy and trying to figure out how to use it.”

Moore was born on September 23, 1911, in Grenada County, Mississippi. The family sharecropped and grew vegetables to stretch their furnish–the ten dollars a month they borrowed from the landlord to live on. His mother died when he was fourteen-years-old, leaving him to fend for himself. He went as far as the tenth grade in school–the highest grade offered at his high school. He started working at the post office in 1935 and used his solid income to build a house, becoming the first Black person in Bolivar County to receive a federal home loan.

Mississippi Freedom Trail markers

There are several Mississippi Freedom Trail markers in Jackson, so if you’re starting from there, you can see markers at the home of Medgar Evers, the Greyhound Bus Station, Mississippi State Capitol, Council of Federated Organizations Civil Rights Education Center, Tougaloo College, Jackson State University and the site of the 1963 sit-in at Woolworth’s. According to the state of Mississippi’s tourism website, three more markers are scheduled to be placed in Jackson – at the NAACP state headquarters, Masonic Temple (M.W. Stringer Grand Lodge) and WLBT news offices.

Northern Mississippi is also home to several markers. In Cleveland, you can visit the home of Amzie Moore, an underappreciated champion of civil rights in Mississippi. Nearby Ruleville has two markers, one at William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and one at the gravesite of civil rights heroine Fannie Lou Hamer. Take a 40-minute drive to explore the Mississippi Delta and visit Clarksdale to see the Freedom Trail marker at Aaron Henry’s Fourth Street Drug Store. Other northern Mississippi cities with markers on the Freedom Trail include Mayersville, Greenwood, Holly Springs and Blue Mountain

For more on Amzie Moore, see Amzie Moore Museum

The Harvey Richards Media Archive is thrilled to be included in the new museum for Amzie Moore (1911-1982) coming to Cleveland, Mississippi in 2015. Bolivar County, Mississippi, with the cooperation of Delta State University, has acquired Amzie Moore’s home in Cleveland to turn it into a Civil Rights Museum. The films and photos of Harvey Richards will be included in the museum exhibits in the Amzioe Moore home, now being restored to its 1950s condition. It is a great honor to be included in the new museum, so richly deserved by Amzie Moore and those whom he organized and rallied to the cause. Harvey Richards’ films and photos provide people today with an intimate portrait of Amzie Moore who had taken Richards into his world to make the films.

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