Interview with Sheriel Perkins, September 12, 2008

Material Information

Interview with Sheriel Perkins, September 12, 2008
Perkins, Sheriel ( Interviewee )
Weston, Marna ( Interviewer )
Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP)
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Oral history interview


Subjects / Keywords:
African Americans ( fast )
Mississippi Delta Freedom Project ( local )
Civil rights movements ( fast )
Oral histories ( lcgft )
Spatial Coverage:
United States of America -- Mississippi


Scope and Content:
Perkins shares her memories as an elementary school child in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movment as a speaker at the Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization 4th year reunion in Indianola, Mississippi, September 2008. She also talks about her struggle in becoming the first female as well as African American mayor of Greenwood, Mississippi.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Holding Location:
UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license:
Resource Identifier:


This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


MFP 018 Interviewee: Sheriel Perkins Interviewer: Marna Weston Date of Interview: September 1 2 2008 [Applause] P: Good evening. Firstly, give honor to God, w ho should be the head of all of our lives. To the offices and members of this organization and to all of you who make up this grand audience today, I am delighted that you asked me to come to share as mayor of the city of Greenwood. Hebrew 11:1 states, faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. Today, I stand before you as mayor of the city of Greenwood, Mississippi, where the hands that once picked cotton picked me as their mayor. Today, I stand boldly, fully aware of the importance and historical milestone of what my being elected mayor means to this organization, and others who sacrificed their lives for me to be wher e I am. Today, I boldly stand as the evidence o f things not seen During the 1960s, when the civil rights m ovement was launched, I was only five years old, growing up in go, places where I could not eat, places and fountains wh ere I could not drink. My grandmother paid her poll taxes to vote and never missed a time voting, to my knowledge. My father never missed a time voting, to my knowledge. Unfortunately, neither my grandmother nor my father witnessed my becoming mayor of Gre enwood. Nor did Fannie Lou H amer. Nor did so many more. But, had it not been for their faith in the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, I could not stand before you today. My journey to become mayor was not an easy one. It


MFP 0 1 8 ; Perkins ; Page 2 took seventeen months, four elections, and a lengthy lawsuit before I was certified the winner of the mayoral race by a marginal win of 292. On September 29, 2006, I was sworn in as mayor. I will have been mayor two years September 29, 2008. Despite what some p eople thought, the sun continues to shine in Greenwood, Mississippi. [Applause] P: Our city is still growing in all areas. We have improved streets in areas where none had been improved before. We are committed to making housing more affordable and availab le. We have definitely improved our commitment to our youth by providing summer jobs, educational programs, and much more. Is voting still important? Yes, it is. You bet it is. We must continue to strive to get all eligible citizens of voting age registere d and make sure they vote. Is the c ivil r ights struggle over? By no means. We have a whole new generation out there with a whole lot of issues that will keep us forever on the bandwagon for c ivil r ights and for equal justice. Yes, this is a new day, but yo u did it back in 1964 and we can continue to do it right now in the year of 2008. Remember to vote. Never give up that right. [Applause] [End of interview] Transcribed by: Diana Dombrowski, August 2013 Audit Edited by: Sarah Blanc, September 2, 2013


MFP 0 1 8 ; Perkins ; Page 3 Final edited by: Diana Dombrowski, November 5, 2013

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