2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Butler, Simmons, Jackson (11th), Frazier, Walls, Harden, Thomas, Jackson (32nd), Jordan, Dawkins, Horhn
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND CIVIC CONTRIBUTIONS OF L. J. MARTIN, SR., OF MCCOMB, MISSISSIPPI, THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI SINCE THE RECONSTRUCTION ERA TO QUALIFY AND RUN FOR MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OFFICE.
WHEREAS, on Wednesday, February 24, 1965, the seven announced candidates for vacancies on the McComb Board of Selectmen included the first African-American to announce and qualify for municipal office in the State of Mississippi since the Reconstruction Era, so far as history reveals; and
WHEREAS, L. J. Martin, Sr., of the Beartown Community, filed his petition to be included in the April 5, 1965, special election which bore 64 signatures and went through the routine check to determine if 50 of them were by valid, qualified city voters which was verified by the McComb Election Commission. Mr. Martin qualified as the candidate of the Freedom Democratic Party and was accompanied to City Hall by a veteran staff member of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) when filing his petition; and
WHEREAS, during the Civil Rights movement, "Deacon" Martin was an active member of the NAACP and a Watchman for the community with 24-hour availability to contact Attorney General Robert Kennedy. He was visited by Drew Pearson, Stokley Carmichael, Cleveland Sellers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Gray and Annie Devine. He was the Director of the Head Start Program in Beartown; and
WHEREAS, L. J. Martin, Sr., passed away on December 27, 2001, at the age of eighty-nine-years-old. He was born August 25, 1912, in the Holmesville Community of Pike County, Mississippi, to the late Mrs. Mary Otis Stevenson and the late Mr. Joseph Martin. He was a member and deacon of fifty-three years at Society Hill M. B. Church, serving until failing health. His favorite hymn was "Old Ship of Zion"; and
WHEREAS, Deacon Martin attended Beartown High School in McComb, Mississippi. He worked at the American Box Company, retiring after forty-three years of service. He was an expert cabinet builder and carpenter; and
WHEREAS, L. J. Martin, Sr., was married to Mrs. Leola Causey Martin for 68 years and to their union were eleven children; and
WHEREAS, it is with great humility that we acknowledge the historical civic contributions of this Mississippi citizen whose name will not be forgotten:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and civic contributions of L. J. Martin, Sr., of McComb, Mississippi, the first African-American since the Reconstruction Era to qualify and run for municipal government office in the State of Mississippi, and we extend our respect to the surviving family of L. J. Martin, Sr.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of L. J. Martin, Sr., and be forwarded to the Mayor of McComb, Mississippi, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.