James N. Mays Papers, 1960-1967


James Nabritt Mays was born in Leslie, Georgia, on October 6, 1928. He attended Gellespie Seldon Institute High School in Cordele, Georgia, from 1942 to 1945, and then served in the U.S. Air Force until 1949. Mays was a small farmer for fifteen years, during which time he received a B.S. in education from Georgia State College. He then taught in the Georgia public school system from 1961 until 1963, when he was fired because of his civil rights activities. In 1964 Mays became a field representative for the National Sharecroppers Fund in Mississippi. During the mid-1960s, his work with the NSF also took him to Alabama. In addition, Mays was involved in the civil rights movement, community organizing, the anti-war movement, farming, and the Baptist church.