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NewSouth Author Phil Noble Responds to Civil Rights Arrest in Mississippi

As reported Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007 in the New York Times, James F. Seale has been arrested in Roxie, Mississippi, in connection with the murders of two African-American men, Henry H. Dee and Charles E. Moore, in 1964. Seale is alleged to have been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The FBI believes Seale and others suspected the two men of planning an “armed uprising,” while in fact they may just have been hitchhiking in the area.

NewSouth author Rev. J. Phillips Noble grew up in Learned, Mississippi. He served as the first chairman of the Human Relations Council during desegreation in Anniston, Alabama. Regarding the arrest in Mississippi, Noble wrote:

The history of the world is littered with examples of “man’s inhumanity to man.” High up on the list is the ignorant, prejucice, and hate driven horrific crimes committed on African Americans during the 1960’s. Many were people who were not involved in Civil Rights activity, but innocent bystanders who became the objects for violent treatment just because they were black.

Time brings some healing of hurt to families of these victims, but it does not entirely remove it. However, time does not negate the need for justice for those who perpertrated cruel violence to innocent victims. I am immensely proud of my fellow Mississippian, former Gov. William Winter, who was a voice for tolerance and moderation in an atmosphere of bigotry and hatred during the 1960s, and others like him, and I continue to be appalled at the depths of hatred to which some of my fellow Mississippians could sink as they carried out their evil deeds. I am grateful that the wheels of justice continue to grind in my native state.

Rev. J. Phillips Noble wrote about his experiences struggling for civil rights in Anniston in his book Beyond the Burning Bus, available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.