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Mississippi - Indianola: Michael W. Freeman Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Michael W. Freeman in Indianola, Mississippi. Freeman says he grew up in rural Monroe County, his family were sharecroppers. He moved to Amery, a city of about 1,000 people, when he was 15 years old. He graduated high school in 1973; he was the first to do so in his immediate family. His high school was about 30% Black. Freeman says his family lost their land to the city bank. After school he worked in the garment factory for a year then was hired on the St. Louis-San Francisco highway as a brakeman. Then he became a locomotive engineer, driving freight trains. He worked for the railroad from ages 20-24. For college he went to SD Bishop State Junior College out of Mobile and continued to work on trains. He eventually transferred to Morehouse College on a track and field scholarship. He says he was drawn to Morehouse because he wanted to go where all of the significant Black leaders had gone. He eventually left the railroad in 1978 and went to Morehouse in 1979. He majored in accounting. He says he was very involved on campus, both academically and socially. He said his time at Morehouse was as much a social orientation as an academic one. He found his classes harder than he had expected. They discuss specific teachers at Morehouse. They discuss the Baptist aspect of Morehouse. Freeman says that he is very proud of what he has been able to accomplish at such a young age, though he has faced some resentment because of it. He wishes he had taken more history classes because he feels that he could have a better sense of where he came from. He came back to Mississippi after he graduated in 1984. He was appointed to a United Methodist church for about a year and a half. They discuss the religious nature of various colleges. They discuss Freeman's campaign for alderman, which he ultimately lost.
African AmericansCivil rightsRace relationsCivil rights leadersEducationSharecroppers
Indianola (Ms.)Atlanta (Ga.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 152, Item 12, Side 1, 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.