Willie B. Wazir was an influential civil rights activist who helped create the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO).
Peacock was born in Charleston, Mississippi, Peacock witnessed “slavery first hand on the plantation” where his parents were sharecroppers. Determined to escape, he ran away from the fields and his family, whom he did not see again until they left the plantation. By that time, Peacock was motivated “to do something practical about the conditions faced by black people.”
Following high school, Peacock attended Rust College on a scholarship. While at Rust, he helped boycott a segregated theater, organized voter registration in the region, and arranged student meetings with Jim Bevel, Sam Block, and Dewey Green of SNCC.
Despite the discouragement of Rust officials, Peacock’s civil rights work continued throughout his college career. After graduation, he opted for activism over medical school, to his mother’s displeasure. As a part of SNCC, Peacock participated in the creation of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), the coalition of civil rights organizations working in tandem to achieve the goals of the Voter Education Project.
Later, Peacock returned to school and studied at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He married and had a family. During his career, Peacock supported various projects in Mississippi and California, where he re-located permanently in 1989. His work included starting a community cultural revival program, striving to “bring blacks and Latinos together,” and serving developmentally disabled children and adults.
In the video below Peacock tells a story of how he and Sam Block, his friend and fellow SNCC field secretary, were almost killed one dark night in March 1963 in Greenwood, Mississippi. It is a revealing story about the 1960’s in Mississippi, where attempting to register to vote got African Americans fired and thrown off their land. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organized supporters in the north to send down food and clothing relief. It is a story about two native Mississippians who grew up in segregation and then fought successfully to end it and were targeted with shotguns for their efforts as SNCC activists.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UklafA56EnM[/embedyt]