So the Heffners Left McComb

By Hodding Carter II
Preface By Oliver Emmerich

Introduction to new edition by Trent Brown

176 pages (approx.), 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, preface, introduction

9781496807489 Printed casebinding $85.00S

9781496807472 Paper $30.00S

Printed casebinding, $85.00

Paper, $30.00

The shocking tale of a white McComb family ostracized and devastated after breaking bread with civil rights workers

On Saturday, September 5, 1964, the family of Albert W. "Red" Heffner Jr., a successful insurance agent, left their house at 202 Shannon Drive in McComb, Mississippi, where they had lived for ten years. They never returned. In the eyes of neighbors, their unforgiveable sin was to have spoken on several occasions with civil rights workers and to have invited two into their home. Consequently, the Heffners were subjected to a campaign of harassment, ostracism, and economic retaliation shocking to a white family that believed that they were respected community members.

So the Heffners Left McComb, originally published in 1965 and reprinted now for the first time, is Greenville journalist Hodding Carter's account of the events that led to the Heffners' downfall. Historian Trent Brown, a McComb native, supplies a substantial introduction evaluating the book's significance. The Heffners' story demonstrates the forces of fear, conformity, communal pressure, and threats of retaliation that silenced so many white Mississippians during the 1950s and 1960s. Carter's book provides a valuable portrait of a family that was not choosing to make a stand, but merely extending humane hospitality. Yet the Heffners were systematically punished and driven into exile for what was perceived as treason against white apartheid.

Hodding Carter II (1907-1972) was a prominent journalist and author. He was awarded the Niemen Fellowship from Harvard University and the 1946 Pulitzer Prize for his editorials. Author of over fifteen books, he is remembered for his outspoken progressive political views following World War II. Trent Brown, Rolla, Missouri, is associate professor of American studies at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is the author of three books including, with Ed King, Ed King's Mississippi: Behind the Scenes of Freedom Summer, published by University Press of Mississippi.

176 pages (approx.), 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, preface, introduction