Boycotts
 

Civil Rights activists in Mississippi used a number of tactics to destroy discriminatory Jim Crow policies. One of the most successful was the boycott. Over time, blacks came to realize that local establishments depended on them for their livelihoods. As a result, they began to boycott those establishments that either refused to hire or to serve blacks. In a number of cities and counties throughout the state, blacks placed economic pressure on merchants to bring about social change. While they experienced violence, incarceration, and eviction from their homes, these activists demonstrated to the business elite that their money, or the lack of it, could make or break their establishments. Hattye Gatson, an activist from Pickens, said "it really did hurt the town when the boycotts took place, but through it all, they removed the signs and partitions and they got integrated." Bea Jenkins, one of the most active MFDP members, explained that their casualties were kept low because black farmers, like Tom Griffin and Eugene Saffold, "supervised" them and acted as their "protection." Jenkins even told of an incident where she actually boycotted the Holmes County Bank, which was owned by the man whose home she cleaned for a living. She laughingly noted that instead of being fired, she "just went back into their home the next day and worked" because her boss knew she was serious about the work she was doing.
 
 

Racial unrest in Grenada in 1966, specifically a boycott with protesters carrying signs urging people to not purchase goods.

From the Charles Marx Collection, McCain Library and Archives, University of Southern Mississippi.