|MS CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT VETERAN
Phone: (601) 503-5911
Rev. Willie Blue
“I love being around young people,” says the Rev. Blue, associate
pastor of Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss. “Old
folks seem to have their minds already made up about things. Young
people are so refreshing. They have open minds.”
After spending a lifetime fighting for civil rights in Mississippi and
working in a Chicago nonprofit organization, Blue has returned to
Mississippi to get his college degree in mass communications. His
classmates have been very helpful, reviewing notes and assisting him
any way they can. But it is the students that Blue is interested in
Thumbing through history books “Pillars of Fire” and “Memories of the
Southern Civil Rights Movement,” Blue recounts stories of the
struggles of the past he says continues.
“When I was 17, I wanted to get away from the nonsense of Jim Crow. I
joined the military. Then after I got out of the Navy, it was worse than
when I left. I’d been around the world and back, and it seemed the
nonsense had magnified. I had a real bad attitude then when I was
about 21 or 22. A lady from the NAACP told me that the Freedom Riders
were in Greenwood and said, ‘You
ought to go join them.’ ”
Blue did, working alongside people such as Julian Bond, NAACP
chairman; Stokely Carmichael, a former leader of SNCC who also was
known as Kwame Ture; and Bob Moses, a civil rights leader and
founder of the Algebra Project.
The Reverend Willie Blue believes there seems to be a pipeline from
the schoolhouse to the jailhouse with so many of them going to jail.
This has motivated him to return to school. He is now a student at
Jackson State University in Jackson, MS.
|The Reverend Willie Blue is available for
speaking engagements at schools, community
events, churches and other platforms about his
experiences in the civil rights movement.
|Fannie Lou Hamer