Nation: Life & Death in Jackson

It was hot in Jackson, Miss., a torrid 102°. It was hotter still in the barnlike Masonic Hall in the Negro quarter on Lynch Street. There was no air conditioning, no electric fan. The 4,000 Negro people who squeezed into every seat, into every bit of floor space on the stage, in the aisles, along the walls, turned their faces to a flag-draped coffin. Trumpeters arose and began to play a dirge. The people sang: "Be not dismayed, God will take care of you."

This was the funeral of a man whose name was unknown...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!