Fayette Timeline 1958

June, 1958

Estes Vote

Source: Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries, Memphis, TN.

Attorney James F. Estes, with ties to the Memphis NAACP, spurs action for civil rights in both Haywood and Fayette Counties by assisting and/or recruiting local leaders to organize and register blacks to vote. Estes works with Haywood County civil rights activist Currie Boyd to establish a "Civic League" in Haywood. When John McFerren and Harpman Jameson attend the trial of Burton Dodson, Estes seizes the opportunity to encourage them to organize blacks to register to vote in Fayette County.

Understanding both the political and legal process as well as the power of the media, in December 1959, Estes obtains affidavits by Blacks in Fayette and Haywood Counties to declare that they have been denied their constitutional rights to vote by whites.

Daphene McFerren Reflects on How Estes Affected the People in Fayette County

2002 documentary project on Fayette County, TN: Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

July 12, 1958

Currie Boyd

Source: Times-Herald, [1960 Sep 22], clipping in OFCCLW records. Courtesy of Richard Saunders, PhD.

Teacher, Currie Boyd, writes a letter of complaint after being dismissed from his teaching job and denied his right to register to vote in Haywood County. His was the first official complaint.

November 4, 1958


Source: Photograph, Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries.

In October, six Black men successfully register to vote in Somerville. They are the first since the end of Reconstruction. On November 4, black citizens have the ability to vote again for the first time since the end of Reconstruction. Unfortunately, intimidation keeps black voters away from the polls.