The story of the Tommy Johnson headstone and re-dedication of the Warm Springs Methodist Cemetery near Crystal Springs, MS has been covered in this blog time and time again. (If you’re unfamiliar with the story check our archives) Over the years we’ve become close friends with Tommy’s niece Vera Johnson-Collins and her husband Terry. As well as many others who’ve worked tirelessly on this project.
Now the story has become so upsetting and so sad it’s nearly impossible to report. At the very least it’s nearly impossible to comprehend that this is actually 2013. Our hearts go out to Vera and the family of Tommy Johnson. We DO KNOW exactly how hard she and others worked to get the stone in place.
The following was sent to us earlier today (Feb 3rd) from friends in Mississippi.
The headstone of Mississippi Blues legend Tommy Johnson was destroyed last night (Saturday Feb 2nd) in an act of vandalism near Crystal Springs Mississippi. The headstone was paid for by Bonnie Raitt in 2001 and remained in the Crystal Springs Public Library while a legal battle with the help of the non-profit Mount Zion Memorial Fund to reopen the Warm Springs Methodist cemetery was fought against local landowners and the Copiah County Board of Supervisors. The headstone finally left the Library and was placed on Johnson’s grave in October, 2012. An investigation is pending by the Copiah County Sheriff’s Office who has yet to begin looking into the matter. (according to reports Monday Feb 4th, they are now investigating the incident)
Some are saying it’s still too early to call this a racist act. But hard to imagine just random vandalism. Headstone appears to have been deliberately targeted. Possibly with something like a sledge hammer.