The Parchman Ordeal
1965 Natchez Civil Rights Injustice
G. Mark LaFrancis, Robert Morgan, Darrell White, James Meredith
In October 1965, nearly 800 young people attempted to march from their churches in Natchez to protest segregation, discrimination and mistreatment by white leaders and elements of the Ku Klux Klan. As they exited the churches, local authorities forced the would-be marchers onto buses and charged them with "parading without a permit," a local ordinance later ruled unconstitutional. For approximately 150 of these young men and women, this was only the beginning. They were taken to the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, where prison authorities subjected them to days of abuse, humiliation and punishment under horrific conditions. Most were African Americans in their teens and early twenties. Authors G. Mark LaFrancis, Robert Morgan and Darrell White reveal the injustice of this overlooked dramatic episode in civil rights history.