2008 Regular Session
By: Representatives Norquist, Coleman (29th)
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND HONORING THE LIFE OF MR. ANDREW AND MRS. MARY LOU HAWKINS FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TOWN OF SHAW AND FOR HAVING A PORTION OF HIGHWAY 61 NAMED "HAWKINS HIGHWAY" IN THEIR MEMORY.
WHEREAS, born as children of slavery and having grown up in the Mississippi Delta during Jim Crow, Mr. Andrew and Mrs. Mary Lou Hawkins lived their lives with the reigns of racism heavy on their backs; and
WHEREAS, because their stubborn will would not allow them to accept the unfair treatment imposed during that time, Andrew and Mary Lou, along with 20 other African Americans sued the Town of Shaw for violating their Fourteenth Amendment rights due to the deplorable disparities between the white and black sides of the town; and
WHEREAS, although they lost the first court fight, they eventually won the battle on January 23, 1971, when the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower courts ruling; and
WHEREAS, the 1971 decision set a precedent for lawsuits against inequality of services provided by municipalities and establishing a prima facie case of racial discrimination; and
WHEREAS, sadly just two months after this historic decision was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court en banc, Mary Lou was shot and killed by a police officer for the Town of Shaw, and later their house was set on fire twice and their son, Andrew, Jr., and two granddaughters were killed; and
WHEREAS, dedicated servants of God during their lifetimes, Mrs. Hawkins was a member of the Heroines of Jericho, Mr. Hawkins was the first African American to run for Mayor of Shaw, he was a World War II veteran, a member of the Free Masons, a member of the NAACP, and together they founded the Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church in Shaw; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Shaw has honored these fine legends by supporting a resolution naming the stretch of U.S. Highway 61 within the city limits of Shaw, as "Hawkins Highway"; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to honor trailblazing legends who pave the way for righteousness and fairness for all people:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby honor and commend the lives of Mr. Andrew and Mrs. Mary Lou Hawkins for their contributions to the Town of Shaw and for having a portion of U.S. Highway 61 named "Hawkins Highway" in their memory.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.