Anna Knight Memorial Scholarship

I am pleased to learn that Jones County Junior College (JCJC) has established the Anna Knight Memorial Scholarship. Anna was a distinquished educator who provided the multiracial Knights with one of the finest schools in Mississippi during the early years of racial segregation. She was the daughter of Newt Knight and Georgeanne Knight and the granddaughter of  Rachel Knight. Anna graduated from, and later taught at, Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama.  Her history reminds us that the Free State of Jones is an ever-evolving story!

Florence Blaylock and Dorothy Marsh, descendants of Newt and Rachel Knight, established the scholarship in conjunction with the JCJC Foundation. Donations may be made to the JCJC Foundation, 900 South Court St., Ellisville, MS 39437.


24 replies »

  1. Tammy,

    I feel the same way; Anna Knight’s journey in life is truly inspiring, and I hope many others will contribute to this scholarship in her name.


  2. Hello,
    My name is Guy Thomas Valentine. I was born in Laurel Mississippi. My mother’s father was adopted by Tom Knight, Newt’s White and eldest son. My grandfather was part Choctaw Indian with an Indian Mother, as I was told. My mother’s father Charles Stennett was the one I am referring to as being adopted by Tom Knight. Our family, the Valentines were some of the Valentines who served under Newt Knight in the Civil War. The book (Call of the Blackhorn) written by Tom’s daughter list a few of our family’s ancestors and certain areas of close proximity to my family’s home sites in Laurel. Rachael Knight, well known for following Newt around the swamps and other areas as Leaf River must have suffered greatly during those years married to Newt Knight. I have an autographed copy of “Call of the Blackhorn.”
    My mother, during her teenage years in school near Laurel, Mississippi wrote several papers on Newt Knight. Those papers were filled with truthful stories of the Knight family (with Rachael) as they moved about Johns County escaping the Confederate Army. My mother Edna Stennett was a kind and giving woman and freely spoke with me about her early years. Finally, My middle name Thomas was given to me by the same man who was adopted by Tom Knight. I hope this story sheds some sprays of light.
    Thank you,
    Guy Thomas Valentine

    • Guy,

      I have already replied to the similar comment that you posted under my page, “About Renegade South.” I am very curious about the adoption of your grandfather, Charles Stennett, as Tom Knight married Dorcas Stennett in 1912. I’m also wondering which of the Valentines are related to you.

      You refer to Ethel Knight, author of The Echo of the Black Horn, as Tom’s daughter, but as I mentioned in my reply to your other post, Ethel was not Tom’s daughter; she was the daughter of James A. Boykin and his wife, Sarah Graves. (Tom Knight did have a daughter, however; I believe her name was Hattie.)

      Hope we figure all this out!


    • Hello Vikki, I wonder if you have ever been interested in Melungeon Heritage? It seems to be right up your alley and I just wanted you to know about the 20th union next weekend in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Check out The Melungeon Heritage Association if interested.

      • Yes, April, I’ve read quite a bit on Melungeon heritage. Fascinating history, and I hope your 20th union meeting was a success!


    • Guy, I am so glad that I read this for two reasons! First, I knew Miss Knight when she was quite aged, probably 90 years old or so! In 1964-1965 I was a student at Oakwood College Academy and lived in Truman Hall. Truman was Miss knigt’s home and the dorm for the high school girls. And secondly, my great great grandmother was supposed to be a cousin of the Valentine Family. Her name was likely Eliza Virginia Cromwell and she and her husband Robert Cromwell lived in Panola County, Mississippi, as did Joel Valentine. Joel married Eula Johnson and they moved to Arkansas. I am searching for information about the family, in hopes that I can document Eliza’s life and discover her ancestors. Do you have a tree anywhere? Cheryl Tate Cisse

  3. Vikki, what an honor to have a scholarship named after Anna Knight! As you know my mom, Anna Knight Cook, is a retired teacher and one of the group of five black teachers that integrated the Gulfport City Schools. I am now in possession of a signed copy of Anna Knight’s book, Mississippi Girl! This is now one of my prize possessions. How blessed I am to come from such a wonderful group of people!

    • Yes, you are blessed to come from such a family. Anna Knight Cook, like her namesake, was a true pioneer in education and social progress.

      Thanks for visiting Renegade South!


  4. I am selling an autographed copy of the book Mississippi girl, by Anna Knight. I am looking for a reasonable price. anyone have an idea?
    Thank you,
    Nancy Johnson

  5. Nancy,

    I am interested in obtaining your autographed copy of Mississippi Girl by Anna Knight. I am not sure of what you call reasonable? Maybe we could talk about it?

    • Hi Cheryl,

      I have a signed copy of a very rare book that you may be interested in….”MISSISSIPPI GIRL” by Anna Knght…1st Edition, Signed Copy, No DJ, Excellent Condition.

      Asking price is $135.00, with shipping prepaid by seller.

      Thanks for your consideration.

      Rick Korsberg
      214 s. 1st St.
      Dayton, WA 99328 USA

      • Hello, I am Robert Knight. My grandfather is from Mississippi. I am not sure where. Do you still have the book?

  6. I have a signed copy of Mississippi Girl by Anna Knight, copyright 1952..No Dust Jacket….Very Good to Excellent Condition…This book is for sale for a reasonable price….If you are interested, please contact me with your best offer at

  7. Please note: I am no longer posting comments in regard to the sale and purchase of copies of Anna Knight’s 1952 autobiography.

    Vikki Bynum

  8. Anna Knight: was Newton Knight her father? I noticed on RootsWeb that she was born in March 1874. Newton isn’t mentioned as her father on there. Newton is mentioned as the father of Gracie and Lessie, Georgeann’s children born in 1891 and 1894. Seems odd there would have been 15 years between the births of Georgeann’s children if she and Newton Knight were in fact involved in a sexual relationship during this period. Given all the kids Newton fathered, doesn’t seem likely there were fertility problems!

    Did Anna claim Newton was her father? Haven’t been able to find her book. If Newton wasn’t her father, who was? Thanks.

    • Newt Knight is identified as Anna Knight’s father on her death certificate, Though death certificates are not definitive proof of paternity. In her autobiography, Anna does not identify Newt as her father.

  9. If I remember correctly, she was the first Black female Missionary to India for the Seventh Day Adventist church. I met her as a child.

  10. As I watched the movie Free State of Jones over and over a bell went of in my head of how my mother told stories of Anna Knight when I was a little girl not knowing until watching the movie that her uncle William Watts was the brother of my mother’s grandfather Oange Watts. William married Anna Knight which Anna was my great-great auntie. Amazingly watching this movie made me realized how the Watts family on my mother side (Jimmie Lee Watts -Washington) were a big part of this incredible piece of history. There are five generations of Seventh Day Adventists on my mother’s side the Watts. I grew up as a Seventh Day Adventist and I was always fascinated with the Watts family tree history. Anna Knight’s children are my grandfather’s first cousins, my mother’s second cousins and my third cousin and it is a host of descendents i am related too based on this movie that I cannot stop watching. I am thirsty more and more to learn as much as I can about the Watts- Knight family tree. Also we are related to Danielle Watts, the actress who played “Coco” in Quentin Tarentino movie Django. Danielle’s grandfather (Curtis Watts) and my grandfather (Orange Watts “Jim”) were first cousins. Therefore, Danielle Watts is related to me. How fascinating to know who you are and where you came from based on this movie Free State of Jones. I could go on and on about the information about my ancestors. More importantly how grateful I am to Anna Knight who started it all. Reach out family and join this wonderful past and future of the Watts-Knight family history. Please reply!

  11. I’ve rented the “Free State of Jones,” for the second time. It’s worth watching twice, and I watched a couple of times before. Then after watching it again, I went to look up more information on line, and found this website. I’m not a family member or related in any way, but I am fascinated by this story which I can’t seem to get enough of. What a courageous man, consider it under today’s circumstances.

    Dona M. Baba

    • Welcome to the site, Dona. I’m glad that you find the story of the Free State of Jones as fascinating as I do!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s