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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Port Gibson in Claiborne County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Port Gibson Boycott

 
 
The Port Gibson Boycott Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 26, 2017
1. The Port Gibson Boycott Marker
Inscription. On April 1, 1966, the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) imposed an economic boycott on the majority of the white-owned businesses in Port Gibson/Claiborne County. In the months leading up to the Boycott, a number of demands for change in the treatment of African-American citizens, employment opportunities available to them, and full enfranchisement as citizens had been made of local business and political leaders with little or no substantive change or response. The Boycott garnered the overwhelming support of the majority of the County's black citizens. Although blacks also represented a majority of the County's residents, they had little other economic power and had been denied the right to vote (political power) through segregationist laws and practices.

Change would not come easily. The Boycott would continue off and on over an eleven (11) year period, during which a significant number of businesses would fail or close. Working with both State and local law enforcement to harass Boycott leaders and disrupt the Boycott, white business and political leaders believed they could simply hunker down and eventually things would return to the status quo. With picketing and peaceful marches/demonstrations throughout the downtown area and beyond, black citizens would continue
The Port Gibson Boycott marker and mural image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 26, 2017
2. The Port Gibson Boycott marker and mural
to press their demands for equality and racial justice. Black voter registration would become a major focus.

On October 31, 1969, seventeen (17) of the boycotted merchants sued the national NAACP, Mississippi Action for Progress (MAP) and 146 individuals in the Hinds County (MS) Chancery Court to recover business losses caused by the Boycott and to enjoin future boycott activity ("Claiborne Hardware et al. vs NAACP et al."). In 1976 the Chancery Court held that the NAACP, MAP and 128 other defendants were jointly and severally liable for damages to 12 merchants in the amount of $1.25 million plus interest, and a permanent injunction against certain boycott activities was issued. The judgment had the potential to bankrupt all of the defendants including the NAACP and, in addition, placed a cloud over all similar boycott activities nationally. The judgement was upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court in December 1980.

The State courts' decisions were appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and on July 2, 1982, it overturned their rulings, holding that "the Boycott clearly involved constitutionally protected activity" through which the NAACP and other defendants "sought to bring about political, social and economic change".
 
Erected 2011 by Port Gibson Main Street, Inc.
 
Location.
The Port Gibson Boycott mural. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 26, 2017
3. The Port Gibson Boycott mural.
31° 57.742′ N, 90° 59.005′ W. Marker is in Port Gibson, Mississippi, in Claiborne County. Marker is at the intersection of Orange Street and Market Street, on the right when traveling west on Orange Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 209 Orange Street, Port Gibson MS 39150, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lightfoot Park (a few steps from this marker); Claiborne County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Claiborne County (within shouting distance of this marker); First Baptist M.B. Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gage House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Bernheimer Complex (approx. 0.2 miles away); Port Gibson (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Gibson.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on the boycott lawsuit decision handed down by the Supreme Court. (Submitted on June 13, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsIndustry & Commerce
 
Close-up of information on both sides of mural. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton
4. Close-up of information on both sides of mural.
Dedication plaque for Port Gibson Boycott. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 26, 2017
5. Dedication plaque for Port Gibson Boycott.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 13, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 13, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 13, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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