Applications open for scholarships honoring legacy of Wharlest Jackson Sr.

Published 2:54 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NATCHEZ – Applications are open now for two scholarships to support members of the Class of 2024 and to further the important Civil Rights legacy of Wharlest and Exerlena Jackson.

The second annual Wharlest and Exerlena Jackson Legacy Project Scholarship effort is accepting applications through June 10.

Two $500 scholarships are offered in partnership with the Cold Case Justice Initiative of Syracuse University College of Law.

Email newsletter signup

The scholarships honor the legacy of Wharlest Jackson Sr. and his wife, Exerlena, and their work and sacrifice in the cause of racial and social justice for all.

Jackson was murdered on Feb. 27, 1967, when a bomb was detonated under his truck as he left work at the Armstrong Tire and Rubber Company plant in Natchez. He was the first African-American to hold a skilled position at Armstrong Tire and Rubber and served as a treasurer in the Natchez NAAPC

He and his wife were active in voter education and registration and advocated for better educational and employment opportunities, civil engagement and civil rights for African-Americans in the Natchez community.

“This scholarship is a testament to their legacy and aims to support underrepresented students who aspire to further their education and career goals,” said Paula C. Johnson, Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University College of Law.

Last year, scholarships were awarded to Natchez High Students Khari Anderson and Henry Davis III.

“We look forward to receiving applications from members of the Class of 2024 to support their educational pursuits and to further the important civil rights legacy of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and their family,” she said.

Applicants must submit a 500-word essay or a 3- to 5-minute video, along with letters of recommendation and an official of acceptance from a post-secondary school or formally recognized training program. More details and the online application form can be found online at