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Mississippi - Jackson: Charles W. Tisdale Interviewee
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Charles W. Tisdale in Jackson, Mississippi. Dent asks about Madison County and notes the large number and public nature of the civil rights battles there specifically mentioning Bob Moses and George Raymond. Tisdale notes that he saw Moses in Memphis in 1962. Tisdale says Madison is divided Black elected officials serve the wishes of the White community over the needs of the Black community. Tisdale says only about 3 or 4 Black elected officials actually speak for the Black community. Dent calls it "neocolonialism." Tisdale says that Madison County will never progress because it is the heartland of "White power", sighting nearby Yazoo County. Tisdale notes a slave rebellion that had been planned in Madison Country that was broken up by Black informants. He says Whites "kill with impunity," noting a man who was killed in jail and the guard said he hanged himself. They discuss the slave and plantation history of Madison County, noting the Andrew Jackson was married nearby. Tisdale says that there is scarce Black leadership but names Karl Banks and McCullum who are both supervisors for the county as decent leaders. Tisdale explains that Blacks were terrorized more in Madison and Yazoo counties because there is a large Black population in that area and if they were given representation they would be the majority. Tisdale notes some professionals returning to Madison County from Canton, naming Blackman, Smith and Nichols. Dent asks about the post-civil rights time period when he notes infighting, particularly in the Head Start program and between George Raymond and Reverend McCrea. Tisdale states that the infighting was instigated by the Whites due to their control over the economics of the region and "inherited perspective" and naming the Mississippi Plan. Tisdale notes the Canton has a higher percentage of Black on Black crime and says it is due to a sense of powerlessness and lack of worth instilled by White dominance and intentional scheming. Tisdale says that the loss of the NAACP in the area is acutely felt and that it destabilizes and decentralizes the Black community. In their place, Whites place Black leaders who are malleable to their wishes, naming Aron Henry and Rev. Johnson. Tisdale says that there is no vehicle currently where people can discuss real issues facing the Black community without facing in fighting or arrest. Tisdale says that educated children should try to leave the state: that the politics are too high a price to pay. Tisdale names Benny Thompson, a Supervisor in Bolton, as a good Black leader and they speculate the reasons for his success. Tisdale says the lack of education on ethical principles and philosophy has a real effect on Black leadership. Dent says that young Blacks are more interested in making money then leadership. Tisdale says that the youth of the community don't think of themselves as African Americans, they think of themselves as "bark skinned White folks" and as such refuse to fight for the betterment of the community. They think only for themselves. Dent brings up the case of a Federal judge in New Orleans who was caught with a bribe.
The tape cuts out and replays a few times.
African AmericansCivil rightsCorruptionCrimesEconomicsEducationSlaveryPlantationsRace relationsSlave rebellions
Dent, Thomas C.Moses, Bob
Jackson (Ms.)Canton (Ms.)Madison County (Ms.)YazooCounty (Ms.)Bolton (Ms.)New Orleans (La.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 154, Item 4, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. Copyright Laws.