Charlie Scattergood (1941 — 1999)

As remembered by Arts On Wheels website.

Charles Edson Scattergood was the eldest of four siblings born May 1, 1941 in Boothbay Harbor, Maine to Leslie and Edna Scattergood.

In 1963, while attending the University of Washington in Seattle, he was elected Program Chairman of the Young Democrats. Charlie recruited a number of speakers, among them James H. Meredith, the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi.

The following year he moved to San Francisco and joined the sit-in demonstrations and passive resistance movement at Berkeley, where he was arrested and beaten. Six months later he moved to Washington, D. C. and joined the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

In June 1964, serving as the committee's field representative, Charlie traveled with two LOOK Magazine reporters to the Mississippi Delta (Sunflower County). He, along with Gretchen Schwartz and John Harris, were the first to secure housing in Indianola (the county seat).

Working side-by-side with its black residents and others who joined the "Freedom Summer" movement, Charlie helped forever change the course of Mississippi's history.

During the many non-violent protests which culminated in marches in front of city hall and other public facilities, he was incarcerated more than 10 times, received death threats, police beatings, and was dragged on the ground (even the house he lived in on Byas Street in Indianola, owned by Mrs. Irene Magruder, was bombed and burned), yet he held steadfast to his convictions.

Charlie spent some 18 months in the Mississippi Delta and played a major role in assisting in the voter registration project, and desegregation of public facilities in Indianola, Moorhead, Sunflower, Ruleville, Drew and Jackson.

In late 1965 he moved to Virginia and continued to champion causes, spending many days and nights on the White House lawn protesting the Vietnam and Gulf wars. He was an environmentalist, living several months among Native Americans, an anti-nuclear weapons activist, and a supporter of gay and women's rights.

On February 9, 1999, less than six months after relocating to Georgia, Charlie was killed in an automobile accident.

In November 2001, to commemorate his contributions in Sunflower County, a 56-unit apartment complex in Indianola, Charles Scattergood Villa, was dedicated in his honor.


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Last Modified: August 11, 2004.
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