C.C. Bryant

C.C. Bryant (HM2257)

Location: McComb, MS 39648 Pike County
Country: United States of America

N 31° 13.485', W 90° 27.544'

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Mississippi Freedom Trail

Side 1Elected president of the Pike County branch of the NAACP in 1954, Curtis Conway Bryant (1917-2001) played a major role in early civil rights activism of southwest Mississippi. He campaigned to expand membership in the NAACP, led large voter registration drives, and endured jail and bombings of his family home and barber shop, both of which served as local centers for movement activities. Bryant described McComb's violent summer of 1964 as "hell on earth."Side 2C.C.BryantTylertown native C.C, Bryant was a major force in the Mississippi civil rights movement. In southwest Mississippi, where blacks often dealt not only with the Citizen's Council but also with the harsher Ku Klux Klan, Bryant helped to establish one of the earliest NAACP branches. Elected president in 1954, Bryant increased the branch membership by fifty percent; he served as president of the McComb NAACP for more than thirty-three years. Later he served as vice president of the NAACP state branch under field secretary Medgar Evers.Bryant worked for the railroad and therefore was not dependent on local whites for his living, as many local blacks were. He also operated a barber shop in his front yard, where he offered a library of African American newspapers, magazines and broadsides to the community. In 1961 Bryant
invited SNCC field secretary Bob Moses to stay at his home, and the two organized a voter registration drive in southwest Mississippi. Moses used the McComb experience as a model three years later during the famous Freedom Summer campaign, which focused national attention on the racial crisis in the South.During the Freedom Summer, McComb was known as "the bombing capital;" in response to Bryant's affiliation with the NAACP, his barbershop, house and church were bombed by the Klan. He was arrested and jailed numerous times during his long career as an activist. In 1965, Bryant testified before the United States Commission on Civil Rights to eliminate discriminatory voting practices. Bryant's testimony, along with that of numerous other civil rights leaders, helped paved the way for President Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Five years later, Bryant, working in conjunction with the NAACP, won a class action suit that created equal employment opportunities for minorities in the railroad industry and helped desegregate public facilities, schools and the hospital in McComb.In later years Bryant remained committed to the fight for justice and equality. He established the Southwest Mississippi Head Start Program and the Southwest Mississippi Opportunity, Inc. Bryant received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Medgar Evers Medallion Award
and the NAACP's Aaron Henry Award.
Details
HM NumberHM2257
Series This marker is part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail series
Tags
Year Placed2014
Placed ByMississippi Department of Archives and History, MDOT and Federal Highway Administration
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 at 4:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 742039 N 3457293
Decimal Degrees31.22475000, -90.45906667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 13.485', W 90° 27.544'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 13' 29.1" N, 90° 27' 32.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)601, 769
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1521 C C Bryant Dr, McComb MS 39648, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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