—Mississippi Freedom Trail —
Elected president of the Pike County branch of the NAACP in 1954, Curtis Conway Bryant (1917-2001) played a major role in early civil rights activism of southwest Mississippi. He campaigned to expand membership in the NAACP, led large voter registration drives, and endured jail and bombings of his family home and barber shop, both of which served as local centers for movement activities. Bryant described McComb's violent summer of 1964 as "hell on earth."
Tylertown native C.C. Bryant was a major force in the Mississippi civil rights movement. In southwest Mississippi, where blacks often dealt not only with the Citizen's Council but also with the harsher Ku Klux Klan, Bryant helped to establish one of the earliest NAACP branches. Elected president in 1954, Bryant increased the branch membership by fifty percent; he served as president of the McComb NAACP for more than thirty-three years. Later he served as vice president of the NAACP state branch under field secretary Medgar Evers.
Bryant worked for the railroad and therefore was not dependent on local whites for his living, as many local blacks were. He also operated a barber shop in his front yard, where he offered a library of African American newspapers, magazines and broadsides to the community. In 1961 Bryant invited
During the Freedom Summer, McComb was known as "the bombing capital;" in response to Bryant's affiliation with the NAACP, his barbershop, house and church were bombed by the Klan. He was arrested and jailed numerous times during his long career as an activist. In 1965, Bryant testified before the United States Commission on Civil Rights to eliminate discriminatory voting practices. Bryant's testimony, along with that of numerous other civil rights leaders, helped paved the way for President Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Five years later, Bryant, working in conjunction with the NAACP, won a class action suit that created equal employment opportunities for minorities in the railroad industry and helped desegregate public facilities, schools and the hospital in McComb.
In later years Bryant remained committed to the fight for justice and equality. He established the Southwest Mississippi Head Start Program and the Southwest Mississippi Opportunity, Inc. Bryant received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Medgar Evers Medallion Award and
Erected 2014 by Mississippi Department of Archives and History, MDOT and Federal Highway Administration. (Marker Number 25.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Freedom Trail marker series.
Location. 31° 13.485′ N, 90° 27.544′ W. Marker is in McComb, Mississippi, in Pike County. Marker is on C.C. Bryant Drive near Adams Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: McComb MS 39648, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. McComb (approx. 1.3 miles away); Bo Diddley (approx. 1˝ miles away); Summit Street (approx. 2.1 miles away); Henry Quin Home (approx. 3.3 miles away); Grierson's Raid 1863 (approx. 4.1 miles away); Harper Baptist Seminary (approx. 4.3 miles away); Peabody School (approx. 4.6 miles away); Pike County Courthouse (approx. 5.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McComb.
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 15, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 118 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 17, 2017.