Video: Celebrating the Lives of James Earl Green & Phillip Lafayette Gibbs (Jackson State University)

2 Posted by - November 4, 2020 - Black History, BLACK MEN, History, LATEST POSTS

On a warm Mississippi night, James Earl Green, a 17-year-old Jim High School senior two weeks from graduation, was lay dead. He was walking home after work at the Rag-a-Bag grocery store where he worked to help his mother and siblings.

On May 14 a rumor began that Fayette Mayor Charles Evers and his wife Nannie Laurie, had been murdered. Mayor Evers was the brother of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers who was murdered in Jackson on June 12, 1963 at his home. The rumor was false, but it caused a number of students to began to organize. The riot occurred after several days of protests by Jackson State students in response to the shooting of four Kent State antiwar protesters.

The Mississippi National Guard formed in town but they were unarmed they were not issued ammo for their guns. However, the city and state police showed up and were heavily armed with both issued and personal firearms.

Outside Alexander Hall, a women’s residence hall, the police opened fire on a group of protesters. After 30 seconds of firing Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, a 21 year-old junior and father, was dead. Behind the police line track star James Earl Green, a 17-year-old Jim High School senior two weeks from graduation, was dead as well.

While the wounded lay on the ground, the police gathered up their spent rounds and then called for ambulances to carry the wounded to University Hospital. The Jackson city officials began a cover-up of the police involvement.

FBI investigators later found that every window on the south façade had been broken, and they identified over 150 bullet holes in the brick walls of the building. Alexander Hall at Jackson State University still bear the marks in its bricks.




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