Civil rights chief honored with historic marker in Hattiesburg

Posted: May 30, 2021 / 6:08 PM CDTUpdated: May 30, 2021 / 6:08 pm CDT

HATTIESBURG, miss. (WHLT) – A historical marker was unveiled on Sunday in Hattiesburg for a civil rights activist Reverend William D Ridgeway.

The Reverend is considered one of the most influential civil rights activists to emerge in Mississippi in the 1950s.

Rev. Ridgeway was the only Mississippi African American who traveled to Washington DC to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights on Mississippi Election Violations. His testimony, along with others, led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

“This is the historic mobile street area where many marches and freedom writers have gathered right here on this street. Rev. Ridgeway was standing right here at the Wood Hotel in 1964 and there’s a photo of Rev. Ridgeway with some of the civil liberties. I think this is the district where we need to highlight our history because so much has happened. I walked these streets as a child and we want to. Since this will be the museum district, we want people to know the real story, ”said local attorney Glenda Funches.

Reverend Ridgeway was also the pastor of the Freedom School. Family and church members traveled to the reveal. They say they learned more about their relative and pastor at this ceremony than they already knew.

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