Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Time When Public Libraries Weren't Open and Free to All

Link to April 15 Jackson Clarion-Ledger article, "50 years of social change".

Excerpt: The plan that summer day in 1961 was for 22 students to protest a law banning black residents from using the public library in McComb.

But the library was closed. And instead of 22 students, Hollis Watkins and Curtis Hayes were the only ones to show up at the meeting place, a local office of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Instead of staging a sit-in at the library, they decided to target the local Woolworth store.

"We would not be defeated. We knew Woolworth was right down the street and had a lunch counter that we couldn't eat at,'' recalled Watkins, then a 19-year-old college-bound student. "We wanted to let them know we were not afraid to go to jail.'

[Found while looking for articles on tornado damage.]

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