The Ickiest Part of Haley Barbour’s MLK Story
Barbour reports that when Martin Luther King spoke at the Yazoo County fairground in 1962, blacks and whites alike went to see him, though Barbour remained in his car on the rally’s outskirts, which suggests that he was there for reasons other than solidarity. No reporter was present to capture this moment of interracial comity, unique in the history of the South. But journalists were there when King spoke in Yazoo in 1966 during a freedom march, pleading for nonviolence while “[n]egroes and whites exchanged gunfire in a town 75 miles away,” as one dispatch says. About 100 whites stood, staring, on the gathering’s periphery, but the report makes it pretty clear they weren’t there to lend their support.