Mary Jackson Hough, one of the 21 teachers who lost their jobs in Elloree in May 1956 for refusing to sign a teacher’s contract they felt violated their constitutional rights, was honored in Wichita, Kansas, during Black History Month 2015. Hough spent 20 years teaching in the Wichita school system.
The following article was taken from a program by the Fifth Episcopal District Midwest Annual Conference of the AME Church in Wichita:
“The Southern Region of the Midwest South District of the Midwest Annual Conference gathered at Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church, Wichita, Kansas to celebrate the founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. Carieta Grizzel, the host pastor of the celebration, made everyone feel at home.
“Mary Jackson Hough was the recipient of the ‘Pioneer of Courage’ award for being one of the 21 teachers known as the “Elloree 21,” who changed the course of history in South Carolina’s civil rights movement. She, along with 20 teachers from the Elloree Training School, refused to express their personal views concerning integration and NAACP membership. Naturally, this had a negative impact upon her employment opportunities.
“Mrs. Hough also received congratulatory remarks and commendations from Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (the first African American female to serve in the Kansas State Senate), Keyna Cox (president of the Wichita, Kansas NAACP) and LaVonta Williams (Wichita vice mayor and mayoral candidate).
“Rev. Joseph C. Nixon, the pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Wichita, preached a powerful message. His subject was, “Remember the Chains!”
“We should never forget where we came from.”