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March 27, 1961: Arrest of Tougaloo Nine  go to audio


Nine students from Tougaloo College were arrested for attempting to desegregate a public library in Jackson. According to John Dittmer, this "library sit-in initiated a burst of activity by black youth in Mississippi."

SEE ALSO:  nonviolence violence

audioClick on the play button to hear the following excerpt.     
                                                                                                                            Total time: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Tougaloo was a rallying point, and Tougaloo was a spot where strategies and meetings and everything else took place here on the campus before they were implemented off the campus. I can remember the time when Stokely Carmichael, as he was called then, and H. Rap Brown, and Julian Bond, and John Lewis, and the Student Nonviolent [Coordinating Committee] SNCC, they would make it to the campus. Any of those political activists could make it to the gates of the campus, they felt secure. This was a safe haven for them. And it was at that particular time an oasis in Mississippi where the only place where a mixed audience could get together and congregate in fellowship and strategize and make plans and have forums. Dr. Borinski was really instrumental in bringing international renowned people to the campus to speak to social science forums. Here you've got Stokely one night. You might have Ralph Bunch the U.N. secretary. Then, you've got Robert Kennedy coming. And it goes on and on, the list. So, it was so much exposure to us.

audio Click on the play button to hear the following excerpt.    Total time: 29 seconds

We had even more difficulty when we tried to place our students [in schools to do student teaching]. Those who were going into teacher education. Placing them into schools where they could do their student teaching. Placing them where they could get full employment because some of the school districts would not hire Tougaloo students for fear of those students bringing their political views to the district and disrupting the system.


-- James Coleman, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, former student activist, and current dean of the Division of Education at Tougaloo College. In 1967, he became the first black to integrate family housing at the University of Mississippi.