2013 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Jordan, Jackson (11th), Jones, Simmons (13th), Norwood, Horhn, Frazier, Simmons (12th), Butler (36th), Butler (38th), Dawkins, Turner, Jackson (32nd), Fillingane
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO COMMEMORATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BEGINNING OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN HOLMES COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, AND RECOGNIZE THE SOCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF SUE LORENZI SOJOURNER AND HER LATE HUSBAND HENRY LORENZI SOJOURNER.
WHEREAS, on March 28-29, 2013, the citizens of Holmes County, Mississippi, will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the events which were the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in that county. Special Honoree for this commemoration will be Mrs. Sue Lorenzi Sojourner who, along with her late husband Henry Lorenzi Sojourner, were veterans of the movement working from the fall of 1964 to the summer of 1969 to help the black Holmes County Mississippians build a viable, powerful and effective political and social movement; and
WHEREAS, the world's eyes were on Mississippi during the summer of 1964, when civil rights activists launched an ambitious African-American voter registration project and were met with violent resistance from white supremacists. Sue Sojourner and her husband arrived in Holmes County, Mississippi, in the wake of this historic time, known as "Freedom Summer"; and
WHEREAS, from September 1964 until her departure from the state in 1969, Sojourner collected an incredible number of documents, oral histories, and photographs chronicling the dramatic events that she witnessed. In this remarkable book, Thunder of Freedom, Sue Sojourner and Cheryl Reitan present a fascinating account of one of the Civil Rights Movement's most active and broad-based community organizing operations in the South. The book was published in January 2013 by the University Press of Kentucky, and Sue has produced two photography exhibitions using reproductions of her original 1960s photographs; and
WHEREAS, Thunder of Freedom unites Sojourner's personal experiences with her insights regarding the dynamics of race relations in the 1960s South, providing readers with a unique look at the struggle for rights and equality in Mississippi. Illustrated with selections from Sojourner's acclaimed catalog of photographs, this profound book tells the powerful, often intimate stories of ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things; and
WHEREAS, in 1972, Henry and Sue legally changed their names from Lorenzi to Sojourner in honor of the history of abolitionist Sojourner Truth, and Sue signed her Holmes County photography and writing work as "Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner"; and
WHEREAS, Sue Sojourner's account of her mid-1960s work in Holmes County, Mississippi, is an important, engaging manuscript and one that speaks to a number of significant themes and topics in the scholarship of the Civil Rights Movement; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride the we note the historical context and significance of this event and this civil rights activist who ignited the consciousness of America to its responsibilities:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in Holmes County, Mississippi, and recognize the social contributions of Sue Lorenzi Sojourner and her late husband Henry Lorenzi Sojourner, and extend our best wishes to the citizens of Holmes County, Mississippi, on their observation of these events.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Sue Sojourner and Reverend Zelpha M. Whatley, Chairperson, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.