Newest information on Mississippi murders involving African Americans and/or Mississippi politicians and leaders.
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Florence Mars, author
April 2006HOLBROOK MOHR
"JACKSON, Miss. - Florence Mars, whose work on a book about the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers won praise from many but made her the target of the Ku Klux Klan, has died. She was 84.
"Mars suffered from Bell's palsy and other ailments and died Sunday, her Godson, Mark Howell, said.
"Mars was one of the few Philadelphia residents to cooperate with FBI agents who investigated the disappearance of three civil rights workers during Freedom Summer in 1964.
"Her book, "Witness in Philadelphia," was published in 1977 and chronicled the turbulent struggle to register black voters and the brutal slayings of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman."Continued --
--------------"Florence Mars, in her memoir, Witness at Philadelphia, described her neighbors’ reactions once the burned car was found: "[T]he mood of the town was jovial; everybody thought it was a hoax. Although the rest of the country might fall for it, Neshoba County knew better: COFO arranged the disappearance to make us look bad so they can raise money in other parts of the country." When the car was finally found, the mood of confidence quickly changed. "Many Neshobans started to rationalize that the victims had brought any mishap upon themselves because they had no business being in the county in the first place," Mars wrote."
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"Mississippi journalist and self-described "good ole boy," the late Willie Morris of Yazoo City, ... in a 1983 interview by author Studs Terkel spoke of Florence Mars, a liberal white woman who served as his informant while covering the Philadelphia, Mississippi story:
"Her courage comes in strange packages. She was forty years old during The Troubles (they always called that period "The Troubles") and here she was one of the handful of human beings in the town who stood up to the Ku Klux Klan." (Excerpts from "Where Rebels Roost, Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited, by Susan Orr-Klopfer, 2005-2006.)