1961: Arrest of Tougaloo Nine
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;
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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.
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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