without reading The East End Tea Room."
Read more of what Mike Pierce writing
for the Meridian Star had to say about The East
End Tea Room at the bottom of this page.
The East End
Tea Room is a true story about the
citizens of Mississippi weathering the storm in
the 1960's when hundreds of civil rights
activists from the North invaded the state. It
was during a time when black ghettoes in the
civil rights worker's own backyards in Northern
cities were about to explode in death and
destruction. In one year, 67 race riots broke
out in Northern cities. In Detroit alone, 43
people were killed and millions of dollars in
And the nation may have noticed, but the media
never reported, that none of these destructive
race riots occurred in the South.
The story is about the civil rights movement in
the 1960's, but it also describes an era of
honky tonk fighters in Meridian, never equaled
before or since. The East End Tea Room was not a
Klan hangout, but a colorful beer joint that
depicts the honky tonk scene during that bygone
period of Meridian's history. The book is also
an insiders account of the civil rights murders
in the fictional movie Mississippi Burning.
The East End Tea Room is dedicated to the
citizens of Mississippi, white and black, who
weathered the storm of the Second Reconstruction
in Mississippi and later voted overwhelmingly to
preserve the proud heritage of the Mississippi
News Director of radio station WMOX-AM
in Meridian, Mississippi and long time
resident of Meridian, writing for the
Meridian Star newspaper, had the
following comments about The East End
Tea Room. Mr. Peirce is a regular
contributor to the Meridian Star
newspaper. This article was
published in the October 2, 2002 edition.
"If you asked my
opinion, I would say, 'Don't die with reading
"The East End Tea Room."'" These stories are and
surly will continue to be told in both heaven
and hell. They are the kind of stories worth
Hewitt Clark] did extensive research on the East
End Tea Room and the patrons. These patrons had
life stories that would make good fiction for a
John Grisham novel."
"...everyone who has
ever lived in or around Meridian will recognize
many people and places in this book and that is
the one thing that can make a good book great."
"It was also the
beginning of what Hewitt Clarke calls 'The
Second Reconstruction of Mississippi,' more
commonly known as the civil rights movement."
"It would be easy to
write a dark and dreary book about those days.
It was hard times for whites and blacks. It was
hard times for the whole county. ...but you
won't lay down the East End tea Room feeling
"You don't have to
read the East End Tea Room, before you die, but
if you don't, you will not have lived your life
to the fullest."