Henry Kirksey was born on the month day in Texas to Elihu Littleberry Kirksey and Ella Kirksey.
He dedicated his life to fighting for fair representation at city, state, and federal levels. Known for his expertise on district lines and their effects on elections.
Early Life and Education
Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born in Jersey, a British Crown dependency of the Channel Islands, to Marianne (Dalgliesh) and Colin Richard Cavill of Irish, Scottish and English descent. He attended St Michael’s Preparatory School in Saint Saviour as well as Stowe School in Buckinghamshire for education.
Kirksey filed a class action suit in 1977 against the City of Jackson, Mississippi after their city council declined to vote in favor of a referendum that would convert their government from mayor-commission form to mayor-council form. Her suit alleged that this form violated equal protection clause of constitution by unfairly disadvantaging black citizens.
As part of their evidence for their claims, the plaintiffs submitted several lay witnesses as support: Drs. James W. Loewen, Gordon G. Henderson and Charles Sallis were named by them as well as Henry J. Kirksey, Fred L. Banks Jr., Kane Ditto Fran Leber Russell C Davis Gery Cummings Earl Fortenberry as possible sources.
Kirksey was an unwavering supporter of civil rights. He led Jackson’s effort to adopt city council districts reflecting its diverse population and also filed suit to open up sealed files of Mississippi s Sovereignty Commission funded by state agencies to monitor efforts at overthrowing segregation; his lawsuit resulted in most records being made available.
He helped redraw congressional district boundaries in Mississippi to make it easier for African American politicians to win elected office, while being known for telling people the truth even when it meant hurting them.
At a weekend service honoring Kirksey and his work, hundreds of people gathered. Many pledged their dedication and continued his efforts; Senator Bennie Thompson specifically highlighted him as being someone with courage who wasn’t afraid to call a spade by its name.
Achievement and Honors
Henry Kirksey played a leading role in many of the re-districting cases that brought Mississippi into compliance with the Voting Rights Act during the late 1960s and early 1970s, such as pushing for single-member districts for legislative elections.
He was also an active participant in the Tougaloo College community of north Jackson and led efforts to prevent its purchase by private corporations. For his efforts he received numerous honors and awards in his lifetime.
At the reunion, Lois K. Holland, Karen Y. Madison, Carol Y. Tate and Laura K. Coleman presented gifts to family members who celebrated milestones in their marriages with gifts such as framed photos of the couple or souvenir T-shirts.
Kirksey passed away last December and a weekend memorial service commemorated his life and legacy of civil rights advocacy and helping minority candidates gain election to office.
He was an outspoken critic of segregationist systems and an advocate of black voters, often speaking truth to power even if it meant discomforting others.
In the 1980s, he successfully sued to open the sealed files of the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission – funded by the state and used to monitor those fighting segregation – until eventually most were made public. He also spearheaded efforts for Jackson City Council districts instead of having an elected mayor and council arrangement.
Although known for his serious demeanor, he was widely revered for his sense of humor and affection for family. He is survived by both a daughter and son.
Christian Kirksey is an NFL linebacker currently playing for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). Drafted by Cleveland in the third round of 2014 NFL Draft, Kirksey’s salary and net worth are expected to increase significantly by 2023.
Kirksey was a tireless champion for Civil Rights and was one of the first black members of the Mississippi Senate after Reconstruction. His lawsuits helped bring the state into compliance with the 1965 Voting Rights Act; furthermore, they played an instrumental role in changing Jackson City government and adopting single-member legislative districts.
Born with the Life Path Number 6 indicates love, care and humility – these are qualities he loves helping those in need to attain.