'A Shaky Truce' : Starkville Civil Rights Struggles, 1960-1980

Through oral history interviews and digitized archival documents, this site highlights the civil rights story in Starkville, MS, and the voices of its participants.

The Project

This digital oral and public history project was a cooperative effort between faculty and students at Mississippi State University History Department and Libraries. The site narrates the unique history of Starkville, Mississippi’s civil rights struggles with particular emphasis on the local fight for school desegregation. African Americans fought for equal rights and freedom on the streets and in the schools of every Southern town during the Jim Crow Era. Yet each community and its residents have their own stories to tell about how local individuals organized, protested against inequality, and fought for equal employment, school desegregation, and voting rights. Through the use of digitized archival documents and oral history interviews, “A Shaky Truce” highlights Starkville’s story and the voices of its participants in order to position this town and its people as critical reflections of this national movement.

The Place

Learn about Starkville, MS, and its historical demographics through an interactive map.

Read More

The People

Watch interviews from people who experienced the trials & tribulations of civil rights.

Read More

The Struggle

Read about the history of civil rights in Starkville, from voting rights to school desegregation.

Read More


Find teaching tools and resources, bibliographies, and lists of archival resources.

Read More

This project is funded in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Mississippi Library Commission, and the Mississippi Humanities Council.

cc-by-nc-sa'A Shaky Truce' is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Please note individual copyright restrictions vary for interviews and images. Contact us for permissions.