Join us virtually for the first edition of our new civil rights series, Direct Action with Hezekiah Watkins, on Thursday, July 22. Guest speaker and civil rights veteran Brenda Travis will discuss her involvement during the McComb Student Movement as a teenager when she and other fellow students staged the Burglund High School walkout in protest against racial discrimination. The program will stream live from the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Facebook page.
A native of McComb, Brenda Travis joined the Mississippi Freedom Movement at age fifteen, where she participated in voter registration drives, sit-ins and other demonstrations in the community with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1961, she was arrested after participating in a protest at the McComb Greyhound Bus Station and later expelled from her high school. Unmoved by her arrest and expulsion, Travis returned to lead a walkout of over 100 fellow students from Burglund High to the McComb City Hall where they were joined by other civil rights workers, some of whom were beaten and jailed by police. Travis was also arrested for a second time and sent to a correctional school, but eventually released on the condition that she leave the state.
Brenda Travis is the founder of the Brenda Travis Historical Education Foundation which encourages youth leadership and community development opportunities in McComb. She is the author of the book, Mississippi’s Exiled Daughter: How My Civil Rights Baptism Under Fire Shaped My Life, published by New South Books. Hezekiah Watkins is a former Freedom Rider and serves as a docent at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.