A Civil-Rights Hero Honored Thanks to MTC’s Wilkinson County Correctional Facility

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The Wilkinson County Correctional Facility in Woodville, Mississippi, successfully spearheaded a movement to recognize a local hero.

Anne Moody, a native of Wilkinson County, was a civil-rights activist in the 1960s and author of the memoir ‘Coming of Age in Mississippi’, which is required reading in many schools. Among many other well-known civil-rights events, Anne participated in the famous Woolworth’s sit-in, in Jackson, MS, shown in this photo with two others, getting sugar, ketchup, and mustard poured over them.

At a hometown ceremony commemorating Anne, the facility’s chaplain, Roscoe Barnes III, welcomed the community.

“It is my honor to greet you today on behalf of the Anne Moody History Project which was created by the staff of MTC Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. On behalf of Warden Jody Bradley, I personally welcome each and every one of you.”

Because of Chaplain Barnes and the other MTC staff members making up the Anne Moody History Project, there is now a street named after Anne Moody. The effort was even recognized nationally in the Washington Post. And it won’t stop at a street sign; more efforts are underway to further honor Anne. Filmmakers even came to town, doing research on a film they hope to make documenting Anne’s incredible story.

“It’s been wonderful to be here,” said author M.J. O’Brien. “Reverend Barnes has shown us around. We’re actually here at the correctional facility.”

Filmmaker Taryn Blake added, “Reverend Barnes has been so wonderful. He gives the best tours. It’s been a pleasure getting to know the people of the area, and to find out more about Anne Moody.”

Inspired by the facility’s effort to recognize Anne Moody, one incarcerated man at the facility honored her by drawing her portrait and donating it to the Anne Moody History Project—an effort inspiring many.

“Today as we reflect on this civil rights pioneer,” said Chaplain Barnes at the ceremony, “we can honestly say that we are here, because she was there.”