This interview of Katherine Miranda Roland Matthews Pollard gives an account of coming of age in Coffeeville, Mississippi, during the death throes of Jim Crow and the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. Her detailed retrospective reflections of her youth activism under the leadership of her father local minister Johnny Roland Sr and organizers from SCLC, show the central role of the Church in the freedom struggle in a small rural county. Pollard illuminates the inner workings of the black community and its citizens in day-to-day life. Black citizens of Coffeeville and Oakland led the call for change and equal rights in Yalobusha County. Wherever there was change occurring the Roland family was in the thick of it. Johnny Roland Sr. championed many causes and put himself and his family in harm's way to gain full citizenship. His leadership was essential to the fight for voting right, school desegregation, securing Head Start programs, and rural legal services. The Roland family also made upwardly mobile transition from sharecroppers to landowners. Mrs. Pollard continues her father’s legacy. She is a minister, and a civic-minded woman of faith. She has worked with many of the programs her family championed during the Movement. She has worked for Mississippi Action for Progress which manages Head Start centers throughout Mississippi and is a direct outgrowth of the Civil Rights Movement. She also was assistant to lead counsel Alvin Chambliss II on the landmark Ayers v. State of Mississippi desegregation case which was successfully argued before the Supreme Court.
1 hr 34 min
African American Studies | American Studies | Oral History
Pollard, Katherine Miranda Roland Matthews and Peairs, Rhondalyn K., "Pollard, Katherine" (2019). Black Families of Yalobusha County Oral History Project. 8.