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Daisy Harris Wade Papers

Identifier: M334

Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection consists of materials that document civil rights activities in Hattiesburg and Forrest County during the 1960s.


  • circa 1939-2011


Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Daisy Griffin Harris Wade has spent much of her adult life in efforts designed to secure the civil rights of local African American citizens. She was particularly active in the local civil rights movement between 1963 and 1968. In January 1964, she housed four white ministers who were in Hattiesburg in connection with a voter registration project. During Mississippi Freedom Summer (1964), she opened her home to two Freedom Summer volunteers. Though retired, Mrs. Wade continues to be active in the area of civil rights. Most recently, she has participated in panel discussions at The University of Southern Mississippi, designed to communicate the history of the local civil rights movement to the present generation.

Mrs. Wade was born on April 22, 1931, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the fifth of eleven children born to Joseph and Annie B. Griffin. Her father was employed by Hercules Powder Company. He retired in 1967 after 41 years of service. Daisy Griffin married her first husband, James Harris, on April 7, 1951, and three sons were born of the union – James, Jr., Anthony, and Harold (At this writing, Anthony [Dr. Anthony Harris] is serving as Executive Assistant to the President of The University of Southern Mississippi). Daisy Harris and her second husband, Willie Wade, were married on April 8, 1978. No children were born of the second marriage.

Mrs. Wade graduated from Eureka High School on June 4, 1949, and completed the Secretarial Cluster Course at Pearl River Junior College on November 7, 1975. Her work experiences include: 1) secretary/receptionist at WDAM-TV; 2) disc jockey and secretary at WORV Radio ; and 3) office work for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In addition, she served as secretary of the Forrest County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Forrest County Action Committee, and the Fifth District Loyalist Democratic Party; did volunteer work for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); was active in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP); and at one time, held a third class FCC radio license.

While employed at WORV Radio, Mrs. Wade was chosen Most Popular Disc Jockey, and since approximately 1975, her biography has appeared in Who’s Who Among African Americans. On June 23, 1991, Star Light Missionary Baptist Church held an Appreciation Service honoring Mrs. Wade for her work in the areas of civil rights and community service.

Additional honors and awards accorded Mrs. Wade are:

Vernon Dahmer Community Service Award, presented by the Hub City Business and Professional Men's Club (January 22, 1978).

Contributions to the Advancement of Civil and Human Rights, Certificate of Special Recognition, presented by the Mississippi Community Foundation (June 1994).

Long Distance Runner Award, presented by Forrest County Branch of NAACP, for 20 or more years of outstanding service (1996).

A Voice and A Vote, Freedom's Foundation Award, presented by the Hattiesburg Public School District (March 4, 1998).

Achievement Award, presented by the Mississippi Homemakers Volunteer, Inc., in cooperation with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.


.75 Cubic Feet : MC2/D11

Language of Materials



Materials documenting the work of 1960s Forrest County N.A.A.C.P. leaders J.C. Fairley and Daisy Harris.


Of particular interest is a series of materials relating to the Forrest County Branch of the NAACP (ca. 1958-1968), which includes minutes of meetings, membership rolls, correspondence, and documents pertaining to the 1967 bus and business boycott in Hattiesburg. Also of interest are items regarding the Forrest County Action Committee for 1967 and 1974, and Mrs. Daisy Harris Wade’s personal reminiscences.

Also in the collection are newspaper clippings, publications, magazine articles, and other documents that pertain to civil rights leaders and civil rights issues in Mississippi, and elsewhere in the South. The collection also includes items of local history, such as a file regarding Ensign Jesse L. Brown, a Hattiesburg native who became the first African American naval pilot in 1948. A particularly unique item is a souvenir booklet prepared in honor of the East Sixth Street U.S.O., an organization established in Hattiesburg, in 1942, to serve African American men and women in the military services.

The Daisy Harris Wade Papers should be of special interest to anyone researching the civil rights movement in Hattiesburg and Forrest County.


This collection was donated by Mrs. Daisy Harris Wade on August 1 and 18, 2000. The gift was made in the names of Mrs. Daisy Harris Wade, Mr. J. C. Fairley, Reverend J. C. Killingsworth, and Mrs. Wade’s sons – Mr. James Harris, Dr. Anthony Harris, and Mr. Harold Harris. Additional materials were donated on March 1, 2011.

Existence and Location of Copies

For Digitized Materials from this collection, see: External Documents link at bottom of page.

Related Materials

M345 Victoria Gray Adams Papers

M369 Anthony J. Harris (Anthony J.) Civil Rights Memoir

M413 Student Research Papers

Oral History with Daisy Harris Wade, Vol. 764

Photograph Log

M334-1 Daisy Harris Wade With Mr. & Mrs. Chip Carter and Alvin Eaton 5 x 7 Color ca. 1976 Daisy Harris Wade poses with President Jimmy Carter’s son, Chip and his wife, and WDAM-TV employee Alvin Eaton. The photo was taken at WDAM-TV, during the Carters’ campaign tour through Mississippi. (Box 2, Folder 10)

M334-2 Daisy Harris Wade, et al, at NAACP Convention 8 x 10 B & W ca. 1966 Taken at the NAACP Convention in Los Angeles, California, this photo shows delegates at a sit-down dinner. Some individuals are identified on the back of the photo. (Box 2, Folder 10)

M334-3 Sister Gracie Ridgeway and Reverend W. D. Ridgeway 6 x 4 Color Undated Sister Gracie Ridgeway and Reverend Willie D. Ridgeway sitting at a dining room table following revival services at East Jerusalem Baptist Church in Laurel, Mississippi. (Box 3, Folder 24)

M334-4 Sister Gracie Ridgeway and Sister Bessie L. Boykins 6 x 4 Color Undated Sister Gracie Ridgeway and Sister Bessie L. Boykins in a kitchen following revival services. Reverend Walter Lee Boykins closed revival services at East Jerusalem Baptist Church in Laurel, Mississippi. (Box 3, Folder 24)

M334-5 Reverend Walter L. Boykins and Reverend W. D. Ridgeway 6 x 4 Color Undated Reverend Walter Lee Boykins, Pastor of Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, formerly of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Reverend Willie D. Ridgeway. (Box 3, Folder 24)

M334-6 Mr. and Mrs. Ducksworth, Reverend W. D. Ridgeway, Reverend Walter L. Boykins and Sister Gracie Ridgeway 6 x 4 Color Undated Mrs. Ducksworth is shaking hands with Reverend Willie D. Ridgeway. Mr. Ducksworth is shaking hands with Reverend Walter Lee Boykins. Sister Gracie Ridgeway is in the background on a porch. Reverend Boykins had just closed revival services at East Jerusalem Baptist Church in Laurel, Mississippi. (Box 3, Folder 24)

M334-7 Reverend W. D. Ridgeway 6 x 4 Color Undated Pastor of East Jerusalem Baptist Church, Reverend Willie D. Ridgeway standing in a living room between two unidentified men. (Box 3, Folder 24)

M334-8 Sister Gracie Ridgeway 4 x 6 Color Undated Sister Gracie Ridgeway at church. (Box 3, Folder 24)

M334-9 Reverend W. D. Ridgeway 8 x 10 B&W Undated Portrait of Reverend Willie D. Ridgeway. (Box 3, Folder 24)

M334-10 Reverend W. D. Ridgeway 8 x 12 B&W Undated Portrait of Reverend Willie D. Ridgeway wearing a cap and gown. (Two copies)

(Box 3, Folder 24)
Daisy Harris Wade Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001