Graveside services were held Monday, May 18th for the late Rev. Richard Taylor. Our prayers continue to be with his family, son Rashard, mother Mrs. Ethel Taylor, and sister Ms. Renae McBride. Arrangements were handled by Holifield Funeral Home.
Our prayers are with the family of Mrs. Earnestine White who transitioned last week at St. Dominic Hospital. Memorial services are scheduled for Wednesday at Wolf Funeral Home in Morton and burial at Pleasant Hill. Please keep her family in your prayers, especially her children, Jimmy Ray, Jr., Melissa and Nicole.
We are sorry to learn of the death of Ms. Anastasia Espinoza who transitioned following a car accident. Our prayers are with her family, especially her son, and mother Ms. Laronda Jones. Please keep them in your prayers.
Our prayers are with the family of the late Mrs. Olivia “Peggy” Williams, a Morton native, who transitioned May 13th at St. Catherine’s Village in Madison. We remember Mrs. Williams as one who was concerned and committed to the education of our children when she served as counselor and instructor at Forest High School. Please remember her family in your prayers.
Please continue to remember, in your prayers, our readers who are facing health challenges, namely Rev. A. Jeff Stingley, Mt. Zion (Ludlow) Pastor; Mrs. Doretha Sturgis who was transferred to the University Medical Center; Mrs. Kitty Colbert who is looking forward to returning home; Mrs. Delores “Lois” Laster Nelson; Mrs. Flo Chambers, Mr. and Mrs. Mitch (Mary) Nichols, and Mrs. Brenda Hubbard.
On May 15, 1970, 17-year-old James Earl Green, a Jim Hill High school senior, and Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, a 21-year-old Jackson State College junior pre-law major, were killed by law enforcement officers on the campus of Jackson State College (JSC). More than 15 JSC students were injured, one of whom, Leroy Kenter, Jr., received life threatening injuries and is now confined to a wheelchair and walker. The widow of Gibbs, Mrs. Dale Gibbs, and their sons, Phillip, Jr., and Demetrius, participated via zoom and virtual transmissions in a commemoration program Friday night on the campus of Jackson State University. The siblings of James Earl Green, Gloria McCray and Mattie Hull were also present and shared their perspectives on these killings and aftermath.
Following these horrific killings and injuries, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the families of Gibbs and Green, and other students who were injured.
Local attorney Constance Slaughter-Harvey filed the lawsuit while employed with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law in Jackson. The trial began February 28, 1972 and was held in Biloxi with Judge Walter Nixon presiding. On March 20, 1972, an all-white jury returned a verdict and exonerated all defendant law enforcement officers. The verdict was appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled that the force used by law enforcement officers was excessive, yet held that the state and city were protected by immunity.
The appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court was denied almost 10 years after the killings. As with similar cases of this nature, plaintiffs received no relief or remedy for their injuries and suffering. This 50-year commemoration was a difficult time for plaintiffs and family members and others adversely affected. The pain remains, and these officially sanctions killings are difficult to accept even after 50 years.
Our prayers are with the families of Gibbs (Mrs. Dale Gibbs, Phillip, Jr., Demetrius, and granddaughter Cierra), Green’s mother, the late Mrs. Myrtle Burton who transitioned in 2017 and was waiting for state and local officials to apologize for their actions; her daughters, Gloria Jean McCray and Mattie Hull; and injured students, plaintiffs Leroy Kenter, Jr., Vernon Weakley, and Tuwaine Davis Whitehead. It is our hope that this type behavior is a ‘thing of the past.’
During this quarantine, we are able to enjoy several Sunday church services on YouTube and other virtual transmissions. We enjoyed Catholic Mass in Denver where the priest reminded us of God’s love and following Mass, we participated in services conducted at Lynch Chapel U. M. Church with Pastor Shirley Wilder delivering the message. The sermon theme was “Choose Jesus!” In times of trouble, turn to Jesus – give him a try; trust and depend on Jesus.
She reminded us to be aware of the side effects of not choosing Jesus in times of need. Jesus can make a difference and He will sustain you if you put your trust in the Lord. Trust and believe in the Lord — He is able. In closing Pastor Wilder encouraged us to trust the Lord, trust the good news, and learn to lean on God.
We concluded Sunday’s church service participation by joining Pastor Sheldon Thomas and his Little Rock M. B. Church family. Rev. Thomas dedicated his message to the 2020 seniors and displayed photos and school information on each of the graduates. That information will be shared in next week’s column which will feature 2020 seniors. The theme of his sermon was “Your Blessings Are Closer than They Appear.” He shared these comments and concerns: Good intentions are no excuse for doing nothing; Break habits that break us; BYOB – Bring Your Own Breakthrough; Your Breakthrough begins where your excuses end; A wrong majority does not make it right; Stop depending on man and look to God; A prudent man takes caution, stay cleans, wears masks, and protects himself; and Playing the blame game is not a balm for healing. In his usual style, his message was spiritually challenging.
Happy birthday greetings to babies born between May 21st and May 30, namely, Jamaryia Mann (21), Nancy Chambers and Araceli Francisco-Coronado (22), Shania Ealy and Aiden Guy (25), Akil Rankin, Lavonshae Spivey and Erma Pace (30) and Rita Parker Johnson (31).
Answer to Quiz Teaser # 567: Ms. Bettye Mae Jack was the first and only Jeanes Supervisor in Scott County. The Middle School in Morton is named in her honor. This position was established and funded by the Anna Jeans Foundation. Its primary purpose was to assist with the education of African American students in southern states.
Quiz Teaser #568: Who is the oldest African American female in Scott County?