ELLISVILLE, Miss. — The dark S.U.V. rented for the occasion stopped outside the one-story City Hall. A wheelchair was rolled up to receive a petite passenger wearing a baseball cap dappled with sparkles, her hair gray-white, her skin mocha brown, her socks hot pink.
Settling into the chair, Mamie Lang Kirkland took a quick look around. It had been a while. About a century.
When she was 7, her family fled Ellisville amid talk of lynchings. On to Illinois, where white mobs rioted. To Ohio, where the Klan raised torches. To western New York, where she and her steelworker husband had nine children, and the one miscarriage she always includes in her account.
Now, after many decades of saying she didn’t even want to see Mississippi on a map, Ms. Kirkland was here for the first time since 1915. Here in Ellisville. Continue Reading