Fayette Timeline 1969

August, 1969


Left photograph source: Fayette-Haywood Newsletter, Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries.

Source: Special Collections; Bottom headline from The Original Fayette County Civic and Welfare Leagues' newsletter: The League Link. Property of Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries. 


Source: Photograph, Fayette-Haywood Workcamp Newsletter

Precilla Hobson and her daughters, Vernell and Vester, are assaulted and beaten in Somerville by two white men, Julian Pulliam and his son, Gerald Pulliam. The Pulliams are not criminally convicted for their conduct. This injustice sparks outrage in the black community. In protest, Fayette County black citizens begin to boycott white-owned businesses on Saturdays. While the boycott begins to protest the mistreatment of African-American women by white men, Fayette County blacks extend the reasons for the protest to include racial inequality, discrimination in employment, inadequate representation of blacks in government, and segregation in education.

December 15, 1969


Source: The Fayette-Haywood Newsletter: March 23, 1970. Property of Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries.

The economic boycott of white merchants continues, as activists contend that, to sabotage the movement, whites conspire with some local Blacks to undermine activist efforts. This climaxes with the beating of John McFerren. On Monday, December 15, 1970, McFerren, while walking around Somerville Court, is chased for several blocks by a group of black men from the Courthouse to a private residence where he is attacked and beaten while demonstrators are protesting.  Ironically, justice didn't prevail; McFerren is ordered to pay a fine for disorderly conduct along with the men who beat him. The League leaders see this as another example of the miscarriage of justice in Fayette County.

Viola McFerren Discusses the Violence and Threats Directed toward Her Family

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