Wharlest Jackson Sr/ Local Korean Vet/National Martyr©

                                                                                    Dec 7th 1930- February 27th 1967
 

 

                                                   Wharlest gravesite today Natchez National Cemetery, Natchez MS

For familywho don't know, Wharlest Jackson Sr. was brutally murdered in Natchez Mississippi February 27, 1967, after surviving the bloody reign of terror by the Klan 1964. He had been the local secretary of the NAACP; a bomb was planted in his truck, which exploded killing him instantly. Leading up to his assassination, he had been promoted into what had been considered a White only position. The tire company where he was employed had long been considered a hotbed for Klansmen and their sympathizers. Apparently the mission of his killers was twofold. Once was reestablish the "natural order" and to deal a blow to the NAACP in Natchez, sending a message, to others.  Before he was a Mississippian he was a Floridian, A Washington Countian, A Millers Ferry-ian to be exact. He started grade school at St Luke. The two room rundown wooden school was located on the property of St Luke's AME Church. The school torn down in 1953. It was replaced when all of the two-room schools were down 16 miles away, in nearby Vernon, Florida. St Luke the church is still there. With the Korean way in full swing disproportionate number of Black men were called on to serve their country. When he returned to the area he met the love of his life and relocated to Natchez, leaving his sibs behind.

Before martyrdon Wharlest Jackson of Millers Ferry, Washington County, Florida.

   Soon after the Civil was freed blacks flocked to a community called Econfina which was on the southeastern edge of the county. In 1880 the federal land granr offered Blacks a chance to become landowners in a place they were once slaves. The area was not far from where they previously lived south western part of the county, north of the current township of Ebro. For many this was Godsend, in that may flocked to the area, and farmed the land. (See Washington County Records in this section's sidebar). Among them were the newly married Lewis and Henrietta Peterson Jackson. For an accurate description refer to Coffee Will Make You Black in the sidebar. It saddens me today that most of that property is no longer in the hands of those ex-slaves and their descendants. In the '20s much of that land was gobbled up by the Vernon Land and Timber Company whose principle owner was a drifter name James R MoodyI who cmae to area to work in turpentine industry. Today Blacks own less than one-fifth of the holding they had  at the turn of the century. That's another story for another time and has no direct bearing on this one.

   No one can doubt Wharlest didn't have the status of Medgar Evers, the slain Civil Rights leader in 1964. It perhaps explains why I can find no indepths record online on the background, or reference to his being born and reared in Millers Ferry Florida before relocating after a stint in the US Army. His parents were, Willie and Effie (Missie) Jackson. Our common heritage is we shared the Lewis & Henrietta Jackson of Millers Ferry Florida.  Today he still has close a sib, Henrietta  still living in the community where he grew up as a child

My knowledge of him is very limited, the last time I recall seeing him was when I was 3. Sounds unrealistic, but my memory goes back until that time. I recall my Grandmother Henrietta, and very vividly when she died, and that was in 1946. I have no knowledge why he migrated to Natchez when a number of his close kin migrated to south Florida. When he was assassinated, it didn't even create a stir in me, because it wouldn't be until later, after his name was added to Civil Rights memorial wall.

In searching the Internet today there isn't a lot written about the man, more about the circumstances surrounding this American tragedy. That's is blight on us his family for not sharing his story. Today there is a road in the community that bears the Jackson name, but not a single memorial. While his plight may have dealt with what went on in Natchez, the results affected us all as Blacks then. It was a time when and Black person's life could summarily be snuffed out if others in the community didn't agree you had certain inalienable rights. Rights, which were, arbitrarily given to those who stepped off the ships at Ellis Island, if they were off a certain racial background.

Listed below are a few of several articles on my cousin, in relations to what happened on the evening of February 27th 1967.. In 2006 after attending countless Jackson-Riley family reunions, I had the pleasure of meeting my cousin Wharlest Jr. For the first time, though he has found God to get beyond the anger, in his heart the scars still linger. To this day it amazes me the number of those whose roots are with that Black community know little of nothing about him including being listed on the Civil Rights wall in Montgomery Alabama.

It is my intent to bring his story to life thus with the impending 2010 Jackson-Riley Family reunion, will have a lot more detailed information about this forgotten hero.

To this day the assassins who carried out the cowardly brutal murder have not been brought to justice thus the murder had never been solved. However, the FBI has decided to get involved with the case.

Interesting articles on Wharlest Jackson Sr.

http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/news/2007/feb/28/wharlest-jackson-remembered/

http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/news/2007/mar/03/family-remembers-wharlest-jackson/

http://www.concordiasentinel.com/news.php?id=1956

In taking the sulpher with the molasses:

 Recently I was shocked discover a blog out of Natchez where a particular blogger inferred perhaps the murder was not of the Klan and that he had not received a promotions. She was an ex-Pat Mississippian living in London. I won't lend credibility to such trash. It's also obvious she's in a state of denial.. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

 

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