At the urging of Mrs. Olivia Kelley Slaughter, the W.L. Slaughter Memorial Foundation was established and chartered by the State of Mississippi in 1983. The W.L. Slaughter Memorial Foundation sponsored Scouting Programs in 1984 (Boy Scouts Troop 263 with the late Jim Harvey and the late William Knowles as Troop Leaders and Girl Scouts Troops 155 and 248 with Attorney Constance, the late Carolyn Knowles, Susie Jackson Hudson (Boyd), Bobbie Carter, and Dorothy Strong serving as troop leaders) for eight years, an annual Enrichment Series of community activities that begin on Mr. Slaughter's September 28thbirthday and ends on Mrs. Slaughter's October 9th birthday, American Cancer Society's Relay for Life for more than 25 years chaired by Alderwoman Cynthia, Nursing Home Holiday Basket Project for 15 years, Community Emergency and Clothing Programs for 20 years, Slaughter Library and Todd Pinkston Enhancement Tutorial Program for seven years, W.L. Slaughter Academic/Athletic Award for 25 years, Olivia Kelley Slaughter Essay Contest for 17 years, Slaughter Subdivision Resident Council for over 25 years, Slaughter Subdivision Decoration Contest for over 25 years, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Walk for over 26 years.
In 1983, the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger featured Mrs. Slaughter and her dream of making the Library a reality. In that article, Debbie Skipper congratulated Mrs. Slaghter for being faithful to her dream and her husband's work. The reporter also provided background information on the Library.
Mr. Willie Lee (W.L.) and Mrs. Olivia Kelley (O.K.) added much to the richness of the African American legacy in Scott County and Mississippi. As educators, statespersons, and humanitarians, W.L. and O.K. Slaughter are pillars of the community, and both are great Black Americans. Mr. and Mrs. Slaughter were entrepreneurs and operated the Six Cees Superette and Six Cees General Store. Mrs. Slaughter was the general store manager. Constance purchased the Superette Building in 1977 and operated her law office out of that building for over 30 years before her legal retirement.
The Slaughters met and married at Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi. After receiving his diploma from Lanier High School, in Jackson, Mississippi, his B.S. degree in Economics from Tougaloo College, and his Masters in Education from Jackson State University. and degrees in Mississippi and California, Mr. Slaughter was drafted into the U.S. Army, lost his hand in battle, and became active in educational professional organizations. After they moved to Meridian, Mississippi, Mrs. Slaughter and raised their six daughters while Mr. Slaughter was a Social Studies, History, Veterans instructor and coach at Harris High School. In 1954, Coach Slaughter's family moved to Forest, and he became a History teacher and the football, basketball, and track coach at E.T. Hawkins High School.
He served as president of the 5th District Teachers' Association and the Scott County Teachers’ Association. He was also active in athletics, where he produced Big Eight Championship teams. He served as Commissioner of the East Central Athletic Conference and was the last president of the Big Eight Athletic Association. He founded the Meridian and Forest chapters of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. His administrative role as principal of the North Scott High School lasted for 14 years, from 1964-1978.
In 1968, the Slaughters purchased 40 acres of land and sold 20 in 1979. In 1981, the 20 acres was named the W.L. Slaughter Subdivision by the Forest City Council.
In 1977, Coach Slaughter became the first elected Black Forest alderman and was re-elected without opposition to a second term. He also re-constructed the Scott County NAACP Branch and remained president until his death in 1981.
Following Alderman Slaughter's death, Mrs. Slaughter dreamed of a Reading Room for the children of the W.L. Slaughter Subdivision. She translated that dream into the W.L. Slaughter Memorial Library which was later renamed the W.L. and O.K. Slaughter Memorial after Mrs. Slaughter's passing in 1991. Mr. Slaughter wanted to produce an educational and recreational outlet for African American children in the Forest and Scott County area. Since Alderman Slaughter and Attorney Constance shared the building (one side was Alderman Slaughter's office, and the other was Attorney Constance's Law Practice), Mrs. Slaughter requested assistance from Attorney Constance to make her dream a reality. Mrs. Slaughter wanted to turn Alderman Slaughter's office into a reading center for underprivileged children. She loved the literary arts and letters and insisted that books could take you to foreign places. She believed there was magic in books and often advised that little Black children could be wealthy if they read and enjoyed reading. She worked to inspire others to read and enjoy reading by teaching adults and youth to read.
There are more than 2,000 volumes located in the W.L. and O.K. Slaughter Memorial Library. Magazines, periodicals, Atlases, encyclopedias, other reference books, and many other publications are available based on the honor system. The facilities are available for all patrons. Residents of the W.L. Slaughter Subdivision are encouraged to utilize the services of the Library. The program's funding comes from community contributors. The Slaughter Memorial Library has a longtime partnership with the Public Forest Library.
The Library has served as a voting place, regular meeting place for the Tougaloo Alumni Club, East Central Chapter of the Federated Women's Club, SCTS/ETHHS Alumni Association, the Forest Inspirational Choir, Scouting Programs, and for the last 12 years, Legacy Education and Community Empowerment Foundation, Inc.
The Slaughter Memorial Library remains in its original building at 518 Jones Street in Forest. Mrs. Slaughter was a librarian, afterschool manager, adult and youth reading instructor, poet, playwriter and director (Forest Inspirational Choir and Slaughter Library patrons), and Shakespearean for ten years. She was also active in civic and educational activities, a member of the Forest Library Board, a life member of the NAACP and Girl Scouts, and was awarded the Forest Citizen of the Year and Governor's Office of Voluntary Citizen Participation Volunteer of the Year. She became the first Black Scott County Times columnist at the request of Sid Salter and began The Slaughter Library News. After passing in 1991, Attorney Constance became the columnist.
Coach W.L. Slaughter and Mrs. Olivia Kelley Slaughter had daughters affectionately known as the Six Cees (Cheryl, Constance, Charlotte, Cynthia, Clarice, and Carolyn). The seeds planted by W.L. and O.K. Slaughter have manifested in their daughters. The Six Cees contribute to improving the lives of others. Dr. Cheryl S. Ellis is a retired professor in Tennessee; Attorney Constance Slaughter-Harvey is a retired judge and attorney in Mississippi; Charlotte S. Moman is a retired Library Branch manager in Mississippi; Alderwoman Cynthia S. Melton is an elected official in Forest, Mississippi; Dr. Clarice S. Bell is an educator in Georgia; and Carolyn is an educator in Ohio.
The seeds planted by the Slaughters continue to express W.L. and O.K. Slaughters' contributions through their grandchildren. Dr. Kelly Ellis is a professor in Illinois; the late Officer Richard Moman was a police officer in Mississippi; Attorney Teselyn Funches practices law in Mississippi; Dr. Heather Brown owns her orthodontist's office in Texas; Crystal McFarland manages Head Start Projects in Tennessee; Dr. Constance Burwell is executive director of a nonprofit in Mississippi; Attorney Jade Morgan practices law in Mississippi and Georgia; Attorney Jenny Booker owns her law practice in Texas, Illinois, and Mississippi; Unity Parker is an entrepreneur in Georgia; Zach Bell is a baseball and golf coach; Diamond is a social worker in Ohio; and Emerald is an artist in Ohio.
Updated 8 2023