Born to sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta, Unita Blackwell rose from humble beginnings to become one of many unsung Black female heroines of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Forced to leave school when she was 12 to earn a living, Blackwell would later become an outspoken critic of racial and economic inequality and the first Black female mayor elected in the state of Mississippi.
The Freedom House was Blackwell’s primary residence and was used to host numerous civil rights meetings between the years of 1964-1970. The Freedom House hosted many groups associated with the Civil Rights Movement as well such as the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The Ranch House was added for its association to Blackwell’s productive life during her career as mayor of Mayersville, and its use for political work sessions and meetings during her Mayorship. Lastly, the neighbor’s shotgun house was add for its architectural significance and association to the civil rights leader.
The Unita Blackwell Property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in March 2022.