EAST CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI 279 EAST CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI 279 The problem was, “in the eyes of the locals,” Louvenia and her boys were still African American. And there were two other problems. First, the white school would not accept the Knight boys even though by law they were white. Second, if these two “white” boys attended a Negro school, Jasper County would have the first integrated school in Mississippi. Johnston and the Jasper County School Board worked out a way to provide transportation for the Knight boys to attend Shady Grove School in Jones County, which was willing to accept them into the student body. When the school later backed out, the Knight boys were once again without public education. The Sovereignty Commission tried to talk Louvenia into moving where no one knew her racial background, but she refused. The Commission even considered providing private tutoring for the boys. The biggest fear was what to do when the media got hold of the story. The Sovereignty Commission chose to quietly close the case. Later, in 1965, with the help of the Jasper County welfare office, Louvenia’s children were allowed to enroll at Stringer as first graders. Much was at risk during the Civil Rights Movement, especially the lives of those who dared to participate. On June 12, 1963, civil rights activist Medgar Evers was shot in the back at his home in Jackson. Evers was rushed to the hospital, but died in less than an hour. His killer, Byron de la Beckwith, a white racist and Citizens’Council member, was a World War II veteran. So was Medgar Evers. Workers from Freedom Summer 1964, a project made possible byAllard Lowenstein and Bob Moses, said their project was one “con-cerned with construction not agitation.” The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) tried to limit white involvement in Freedom Summer, but Fannie Lou Hamer said, “If we’re trying to break down the barrier of segregation, we can’t segregate ourselves.” Bob Moses stated emphatically he would not take part in anything that was allAfricanAmerican. Since the March 1964, establishment of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Bob Moses worked to obtain signature registrations for the Democratic National Convention to challenge regular Mississippi Democrats at the Convention. Those too afraid to register at the court house could sign a form as Freedom Democrats, which would be delivered in August to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. Rumors mounted of 30,000 invaders making their way into Mississippi and of Negro gangs forming. In response, MISSISSIPPI BURNING While investigating a church burning and helping register African Americans to vote, three young men were brutally murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Andy Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner went missing June 21, 1964 after they had been arrested on fabricated charges, then released later that night. The nationwide uproar caused by their disappearances led to the FBI claiming the investigation of the case. While the investigation established eyewitness testimonies and informants, the institutional racism in the court system thwarted the conviction of some of the eighteen men arrested. None of the seven men accused of civil rights violations served more than six years, and none of them were convicted of murder by the all-white jury. It was not until 2005 that Edgar Ray Killen, a preacher who had been instrumental in planning the murders, was actually convicted of murder. PHOTO COURTESY OF MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY