Prominent Mississippi civil rights activist James Figgs dies

AP News
Posted: Mar 02, 2016 11:56 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A longtime Mississippi civil rights activist has died.

Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy says James Figgs of Marks died Monday in Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford. He was 72.

Figgs was a community organizer known for playing crucial supporting roles in the 1960s civil rights movement and afterward.

In his youth, Figgs led activist groups in Marks and Quitman County, including the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Freedom Riders, who rode interstate buses to protest segregation.

Figgs later became one of the first high-ranking African-Americans in the Mississippi state auditor's office, working under Auditor Pete Johnson in the late 1980s.