On Monday the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors approved the wording and the placement for a historical marker in honor of African-American voting and civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer that is to be erected on the courthouse grounds.
The marker is to be placed on the south side of the courthouse between the double walkway leading up to the entrance.
Project coordinator Dr. Sade Turnipseed, PhD, accompanied by an entourage of her Mississippi Valley State University Public History students, led by student Brian Diyalou and assisted by activist Charles McLaurin, made the presentation to the county lawmakers.
The supervisors had reportedly pledged $3,000 to the project with the project committee supplying the remainder. The marker will consist of a write-up about Hamer and photographs of the leader.
Attorney Johnny McWilliams expressed his contentment with the board’s decision. “I think this is so appropriate,” he said.
However, he issued a caution with regard to the inclusion of the names of persons referenced on the marker that are still alive. “To me it should be about Fannie Lou Hamer,” he said.
Emphasizing that he meant no direct reference to either person or disrespect, McWilliams implied that if he were making the decision, which he is not, it would be his suggestion to not include the names of living individuals because of the potential for negative association while they are still alive.
Nonetheless, the lawmakers moved ahead with the presented text with a minor wording change. The supervisors will have final approval rights before the marker is placed.