Spencer Perkins's Unpublished Autobiography Chapter: "Body Punches"

1990 - 1998
Doc # 

Spencer Perkins, the son of John Perkins, the leader of the Civil Rights Movement in Mendenhall, Mississippi, writes about an evening before Christmas during which civil rights advocates, including himself, in Mendenhall were spurred to take political action by the imprisonment and beating of a local African American named Garland. Perkins describes the way in which the small crowd of African Americans called upon the chief of police at the courthouse, and he explains that the chief of police responded by curtly directing them to the jailhouse. Perkins writes that the jailor pulled the entire crowd into the courthouse, and that a large assembly of primarily African-American Civil Rights Activists gathered at the jail shortly after the jailor imprisoned the first group. Then his father gave a moving speech to the congregation motivating them to stand up for rights decreed by the Declaration of Independence and instructing them to avoid spending money on Christmas gifts at stores owned by white people. This was meant to show the economic contributions of African Americans to the town of Mendenhall, and to prove to the white population that African Americans play a vital role in the town.

Additional information 

Document Description: seven-page typewritten document; located in PLT Archive folder "Perkins, Spencer 'Body Punches'"; part of unpublished book containing chapters 3SP02.01, 3SP03.01, 3SP04.01 and 3SP09.01; The publication years noted in this doc entry reflect that this document is a chapter from an unpublished book writen by Spencer Perkins in the eight years before his death in 1998.

Copy available for use subject to Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-ND (Attribution required, Non-Commercial use, No Derivatives, 3.0, Unported).