Local African-American Leaders React To Killen Trial - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/17/05

Local African-American Leaders React To Killen Trial

Biloxi NAACP President James Crowell says he was 14-years-old when three civil rights workers were brutally murdered.

Now more than 40 years later, he's proud to know justice is being served.

"I think that we got some fair people in the justice department of our state who see that it's time to bring this to a closure," said Crowell.

Biloxi's Ward 2 Councilman-elect Bill Stallworth agrees.

"I think it's long, long past time. These trials will bring to the general public and to the state of Mississippi a healing in process," said Stallworth.

A process that these men say is way past due.

"It should have taken place back in the early '60s when the actual murder happened," said Crowell.

"Mississippi has a ways to go. We made a whole lot of great strides and great progress. But when you have a long way to come from, although you made a lot of miles, you still have a lot of miles to go," said Stallworth.

Stallworth says he believes out of this trial, some good will come.

"I think that this is a great step in the right direction for all of Mississippi. I think that if we can learn from the past, learn that evil can only thrive when good men do nothing," said Stallworth.

Crowell and Stallworth feel that Mississippi is becoming a better place because actions are finally being taken to correct the past.

By Ontario Richardson

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