50 years later: JSU opens exhibit to honor 2 killed, 12 injured

Students lead ‘March of Remembrance’
Updated: Feb. 27, 2020 at 11:13 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The exhibit honors the men and women who experienced the horrifying shooting day, Gailya Porter was a student. She says she and her friends left their dorm to see what was going on when they got word that a car was on fire. Sitting on a hill, she says she saw heavily armed law enforcement officers in riot gear, marching eastward on Lynch Street.

Gailya Porter said, “And they started shooting and a dear friend of mine, who is from my hometown, lifted me up and threw me through the door and fell on top of me. The friend that was with, he reached for her, but she jerked away and tried to get into the dorm and she was shot.”

By the time it was over, Phillip Gibbs and James Earl Green had been killed.

JSU associate professor Robert Luckett said, “There were 12 others who were shot and dozens upon dozens of others were wounded in the chaos and the flying debris and of course the psychological impact of that night was pretty intense, so we’re here tonight to lift up the legacy of those people who both lost their lives and who lived and survived and really a tribute to those people who’ve had to deal with this for the past 50 years.”

Student Government Association President Jordan Jefferson said it’s a project the entire university has been working on since June 2019.

“So, I really feel like a lesson to me is that it teaches you how to appreciate life, honestly.”said Jefferson.

Gailya Porter said, “Why is it important for me to come back today or participate, because it is a part of our history. We can never forget from whence we have come..”

After unveiling the exhibit, the JSU Student Government Association marked the tragedy by leading a "March of Remembrance candle-light ceremony.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.