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Clyde Kennard, Civil Rights Activist - March 2011


Can you point me toward a less famous civil rights era activist? I have to write a paper and I don't want to focus on the usual handful of activists.

--James Arls - Houston, Texas


Clyde Kennard

Clyde Kennard from Forrest County, Mississippi, is one of the less-famous civil rights activists from the mid-20th century. Mississippi History Now, the online publication of the Mississippi Historical Society, has an article on him that begins:

"Clyde Kennard put his life on the line in the 1950s when he attempted to desegregate higher education in Mississippi. Kennard, a little-known civil rights pioneer, tried to become the first African American to attend Mississippi Southern College, now the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg. In doing so, he ran afoul of the white political establishment and paid a heavy price."

Read the full and heartbreaking article on Mr. Kennard

March 2011 response courtesy of Mississippi History Now