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Glendora is a small rural town located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Th e people of the town take pride in living in a quiet, close-knit community where everybody knows their neighbors.  However, like many small rural towns in the South, Glendora inherited the eff ects of slavery, Jim Crow, and poverty, in addition to having the unfortunate experience of being the town where a 14-year-boy named Emmett Till was brutally murdered and thrown into the Black Bayou that energized the Civil Rights Movement in America.

A Stone of Hope tells a story about the struggle of this small town to rise above a “mountain of despair” that plagued the town for decades to a “stone of hope” that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. mentioned in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, DC, in August 1963.

For the past four decades, Glendora’s hope for a brighter future has rested in the hands of Johnny B. Thomas, who rose from the son of sharecroppers on a local plantation to the mayor of the town. When Thomas became mayor, he inherited a town that had been ravaged by the effects of poverty, neglect, isolation, a heritage of plantation sharecropping
servitude, and a culture of racial suppression of the civil rights of African Americans.

This book provides a historical account of the struggles and challenges that Mayor Thomas faced in building the Emmett Till Museum to promote education about civil rights, and to promote cultural tourism to generate much needed revenue for community development in Glendora.

This book also includes much information about the rich history and culture of the people of Glendora as they continue their journey to become one of the stones of hope in the Mississippi Delta.