Hattiesburg in Forrest County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
A Bench By The Road
There is no place you or I can go, to think about or not think about, to summon the presences of, or recollect the absences of slaves; nothing that reminds us of the ones who made the journey and of those who did not make it. There is no suitable memorial or plaque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby. There's no 300-foot tower There's no small bench by the road.
The Bench by the Road Project was launched by the Toni Morrison Society in honor of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison. This bench is placed in memory of the descendants of slaves who placed Hattiesburg at the forefront of the battle for freedom. During the "Freedom Summer” of 1964, these 20th Century warriors made their headquarters in the homes and offices of Mobile Street and, from there, literally changed the world. They insisted on justice, equality, and enfranchisement for African Americans. They would not be denied and, ultimately, they prevailed. The honor and dignity of all Americans is their legacy.
Erected 1989 by The Bench by the Road Project/Toni
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Civil Rights. A significant historical year for this entry is 1964.
Location. 31° 20.026′ N, 89° 17.393′ W. Marker is in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in Forrest County. Marker is on Mobile Street near Fifth Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hattiesburg MS 39401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rev. W.D. Ridgeway (here, next to this marker); J.B. Woods Park (here, next to this marker); Taking our Rightful Place in History / We Honor These 15 Brave Men Who Filed The Voting Rights Case (a few steps from this marker); Roots of Rock and Roll (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eureka School (about 400 feet away); East 6th Street USO Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Paul Methodist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pittman Park (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hattiesburg.
More about this marker. This was the 3rd Bench Placement by the Toni Morrison Society.
Also see . . . Bench Histories from the Toni Morrison Society. (Submitted on August 2, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 26, 2021, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 26, 2021, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana.