(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University will unveil its second Freedom Trail Marker at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at the corners of John R. Lynch and Prentiss streets near the Rose Embly McCoy Auditorium.
The initial freedom trail marker at Jackson State University was unveiled last spring during the annual Gibbs-Green Memorial observance and received local, statewide and national acclaim. Jackson State University is the only public institution of higher learning to have received the designation and honor by the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Mississippi Development Authority. This cultural initiative is designed to commemorate the state’s civil rights heritage.
“We want to make sure that not only our students, but the larger community remember what happened here, and never forget those whose lives were lost here,” said Marcus Chanay, vice president of Student Life.
Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, a 21-year-old Jackson State College student, and James Earl Green, a 17-year-old Jim Hill High School student, were killed on May 14, 1970, when dozens of city and state policemen unloaded hundreds of rounds of gunfire into JSU’s Alexander Hall after claiming to have seen a sniper in a window on the building’s top floor. The shooting was the culmination of years of racial tension between JSU students and the white motorists who traveled through the JSU campus on John R. Lynch Street.
Program highlights will include the Jim Hill High School Choir, for which the program holds a special interest. Green, a senior at Jim Hill, was returning from his afterschool part-time job and was killed in front of B.F. Roberts Dining Hall.
Sponsored by the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Mississippi Development Authority, the Freedom Trail Marker project is a historic landmark project throughout Mississippi that offers a virtual tour of state sites that played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement.
For additional information on the Freedom Trail unveiling on Thursday, Oct. 18, call Jean Frazier in the Division of Institutional Advancement at 601-979-4208.
– JSU –
About Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives
Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of the state of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.