Fun facts about shaw
Hawkins V. Town of Shaw was a class action civil rights lawsuit, in which Mr. Andrew Hawkins prevailed as a successful plaintiff against the Town for the unequal distribution of municipal services and infrastructure. This case set precedence across the entire United States.
The Shaw School District was the first to be integrated by a Black teacher in the Mississippi Delta. That teacher is Mrs. Jessie F. Williams.
Shaw is where the Mississippi Freedom Labor Union (MFLU) originated under Mr. Andrew Hawkins with the help of Freedom Summer and civil rights participants according to the Freedom Summer participant Mary Sue Gattalty-Short.
Shaw elected its first black Mayor, Mr. Gregory Flippins on June 7, 1977. He beat his opponent the Incumbent Mayor, Davis Burns who received 395 votes, his 451 votes for a total of 846 votes that day.
Herman Smith was elected April 7, 1970 as the first Black to any governing board in the Town of Shaw. He was elected to the City Council as an Alderman in a special election to fill the vacant of Alderman H. M. Jordan who had died. The board makeup was four Whites to one Black. The Mayor was P.M. Bennett. The Aldermen were R. B. Flannagan, Frank Salley, Davis Burns, Tim Tarver Langston adn Herman Smith. Smith was elected at the beginning of Hawkins V. Town of Shaw lawsuit and would remain on the board for the entire duration fo the case which was first filed in 1969 and ended in the summer of 1972.
Black businesses and property were well represented in Shaw in the early days before adn during the civil rights movement. Black tailor shop and clearers (Tom McEvans), large real estate holder adn cafe owner (William Byrd), owned all the land in the Boatwright addition (Annie Boatwright and husband), Ruth’s Grocery (Ms. Ruth McWilliams), medical family practitioner (Dr. Searcy), hair dressers (Josie Woods and Johnie Mae Stewart-Douglass), funereal home and burial society (Tom McEvans, Frank Cleveland), Torrence “Ms. Tonz” Grocery Store (Gertrude Torrence), Roy’s Loungue (Roy Mcgee, Sr.), Lou’s Cafe (Lou Singleton), Sam Jr. Cafe (Sam Singleton, Jr.), to name a few.
White/Italian/Asian businesses were well represented in Shaw in the early days before and during the civil rights movement. Shaw Lumber Yard (Guy Simpson), medical family practitioners (Dr. Peeler, Dr. Riddell, Dr. Field), major grocery stores (Woo Grocery, Piggly Wiggle, JM Mark, Leadway), clothing stores (5 $ Dime, Jeanette Landoff, Harry Rubenstein Clothing), cotton gin (Harold Tapley Cottin Gin, Litton’s Gin, Daniel Sullivan), and many more.
The Bi-Racial Committee ordered by the Courts in response to the Hawkins lawsuit included only Black citizens. Charles Bartley submitted the names of Velma Barley, Edna Earl Moore, and Sylvester Kyles, Jr to the City Council on October 7, 1975. The City Council accepted the names and added them to the committee.