Wille Curtis Johnson


As remembered by James Kates
January 10, 2023

Willie Curtis Johnson was a high-school student in Como, Mississippi, in 1964.

The stepson of a local NAACP leader, he was instrumental in organizing his fellow high-school students and the local community to support the "Freedom Summer" voting rights campaign in Panola, working closely with COFO volunteers.

He later moved north to Kansas City, where he died on January 6 at the age of 76.

When we remember all the local leaders and civil-rights staff people who have lived and died primarily known for their freedom work, we should also honor those everyday citizens whose participation made the Movement possible and meaningful.



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