Civil Rights

As the war for freedom came to a close, the fight for equality began. Throughout the 20th century, the Hills’ African American community sent leaders and foot soldiers into the ongoing struggle, inspiring the nation with their courage and determination.

The Ida B. Wells Museum in Holly Springs shares the story of an extraordinary woman, the daughter of slaves who bravely battled lynching. Also at Holly Springs, Rust College (originally Shaw College) was founded on a site where slave auctions were once held, and the school continues in existence as one of only five remaining historically-black colleges in the U.S. founded before 1866. Almost a century later in 1962, James Meredith’s historic enrollment as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi opened a closed door and provided a significant benchmark for eliminating segregation in Mississippi.