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Collection Title: Phillips (Mamie L.) Civil Rights Memoir

Collection Number: M 383

Dates: A recollection of the 1960s, written in 1998

Volume: 2 pages

Provenance: Material in this collection was created by Mrs. Mamie L. Phillips.

Donor: Mrs. Mamie L. Phillips, May 25, 1998

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Mamie Lee Phillips was born in Pinola , Mississippi ( Simpson County ) on September 13, 1914 , to Steve and Phenie Banks. Her siblings were Barnie, Naomi, Emry, Maggie, Charlie, Mary and Steve, Jr. She attended Alcorn Central Elementary School and Priest Creek High School , followed by one semester of college.

In 1940 she moved to Hattiesburg , Mississippi and joined the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). On April 23, 1947 , she married Charles H. Phillips, who was also active in the NAACP. Together, they spent the next twenty years participating in community projects, demonstrations and teaching government courses struggling to bridge the divide between disconnected communities in Hattiesburg .

Mrs. Phillips' civil rights activism spanned a period of almost 30 years, beginning in 1940 and culminating in the 1960s. She and her husband generously fed and housed more than 30 civil rights workers during the height of the civil rights movement in Hattiesburg in the 1960s. The couple owned and operated the In and Out Lunch Bar, a restaurant located at 600 S. Tipton Street in Hattiesburg . In addition, Mrs. Phillips served as manager of the Francis Street Apartments in Hattiesburg for more than eighteen years. Other career activities included work as a beautician and a musician. Fishing and gardening are among her hobbies.

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of a two-page typed memoir of Mrs. Phillip's experiences as an African American in a segregated society, and the consequences associated with being a civil rights activist. She mentions a visit to Hattiesburg by civil rights activist Aaron Henry, and the fire-bombing of Vernon Dahmer's home.

Related Collections:

Fairley, J. C., and Phillips, Mamie and Charles. An Oral History with J. C. Fairley, Mamie Phillips, and Charles Phillips. Vol. 711, Hattiesburg: University of Southern Mississippi, 1998.

M328 Goodman (Jill Wakeman) Civil Rights Collection ("Journey to Mississippi", Summer 1966)

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