I have researched the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission and found documents that show all African-American Teachers, Preachers and many African-American people in Mississippi were investigated and/or recruited during the 1960’s by the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission.
Mrs. Ruby Larkin, Lincoln County Superintendent of Education in the 1960’s was a Sovereignty Commission contact in Brookhaven, MS and in one of the documents I’ve found, she recommended Mrs. Eva H Harris, the Principal of Eva H Harris, as a good prospective informant. She also requested that a confidential check be made of T. J. Rance who was a teacher at the Lincoln County Training Center in Bogue Chitto, MS in 1960. However, we must understand that during the civil rights struggle, you obeyed or pretended to obey the requests made by the people in control or suffer job lose, beatings, intimidation, false imprisonment, or death. I can remember instances where my parents would pretend to cooperate with authorities, but in fact, they were playing a game. My father taught me, to stay out of trouble; you must sometimes play games with “Mr. Charlie”. I have no idea if Mrs. Harris was actually contacted by the Sovereignty Commission to become an informant. I knew Mrs. Harris very well and I think that if she were contacted by the Sovereignty Commission, she would have accepted the request to become an informant but would have played the game my father talked about. Neither Mrs. Harris nor Mr. Rance earned their highly decorated careers in education by being unwise.
Other Sovereignty Commission contacts in Lincoln County, MS that were found in the documents were:
Sheriff Earl Smith
Royce R Hart, Chancery Clerk
Clark Earl H Burns, Circuit Clerk
Hugh T. Mitchell, Chairman of the White Citizens’ Council of Brookhaven, MS
S. E. Babbington, President of the Brookhaven, MS Chamber of Commerce
Judge Tom E. Brady
Senator W. M. Jones of Brookhaven, MS
Representative C. B. Holmes of Brookhaven, MS
The Mississippi Sovereignty Commission investigator was A. L. Hopkins
- 2nd black graduate of Univ. of Mississippi dies (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- MyMove™ – Moving to Mississippi What You Need to Know (mymove.com)