Pike

PEOPLE

Webb and Dock Owens

The Owens family's interest in Civil Rights was well known throughout McComb. Mrs. Beulah Owens was secretary of the McComb NAACP. When Webb Owens, a retired railroad worker, returned home in 1961, he immediately became involved in the Movement. He assisted SNCC workers in organizing efforts by soliciting donations of food and money for Movement people, and he served as a link between them and the local Black community. Webb Owens is warmly remembered for his "cool"countenance and "dapper"appearance.

Webb Owens lived with his brother, Mr. Dock Owens, whose home was targeted for attack because of Webb's activities. However, the white attackers mistakenly shot into the home of Mrs. Clorine Andrews, who lived next door to the Owens family.

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PLACES

The Freedom House Complex

The SNCC Workers Freedom House Complex was a trio of houses on Wall and Denwiddie Streets owned by Mrs. Willie Mae Cotton and Mr. Antoine AcNulty. Mrs. Cotton had opened her home to SNCC workers early in the Movement. In preparation for the 1964 Summer Project, she extended housing to additional workers, and later that summer other houses were made available as the project expanded and workers came to teach in the freedom school. The third house also served as the Delta Ministry Office.

A core group of experienced SNCC workers and COFO volunteers lived in these dwellings continuously from early 1964 through the summer of 1966. In July 1964, the Freedom House at 702 Wall Street was bombed, injuring activists Dennis Sweeney and Curtis Hayes.

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GROUPS

Noble Cleaners

The entire Nobles family was active throughout the McComb Movement. Mr. Ernest Nobles’s establishment was one of the most active gathering places for SNCC workers. He opened his business to the Movement and assisted workers by transporting them, allowing them to use the telephone, and, when necessary, hiding them among the racks of clean clothes.

Nobles Cleaners escaped being bombed because Ernest and his ten brothers and one sister took turns guarding the business for more than the two years.

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DOCUMENTS

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