Tougaloo in Hinds County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
—Mississippi Freedom Trail —
The courage of Tougaloo College students, faculty, and staff fueled the Jackson Civil Rights Movement. Inspired by the bravery and resolve of Medgar Evers, students and faculty attempted to integrate Jackson's main public library, restaurants, and churches. In demonstrations and sit-ins, they suffered insults, beatings, and jailings. A private institution, Tougaloo was not governed by racist state policies but did risk the revocation of its charter as it became Mississippi's safe haven for activists fighting for dignity, equality, and justice.
Tougaloo College After World War II racial segregation was boldly challenged in Mississippi. Tougaloo College teachers, staff, students, and alumni led the way for voting rights, equal pay, and public access for all. By the 1960s, NAACP youth council chapters had become active, encouraged by Mississippi field secretary Medgar Evers. In March 1961, nine youth council members from Tougaloo attempted to use the Jackson Public Library's whites-only main branch. They were arrested on breach of peace and jailed. When the "Tougaloo Nine" arrived for trial, a crowd of students and adults outside the courthouse applauded. Police with dogs turned on the supporters, beating them. The students were found guilty, fined. and given suspended sentences.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized supporters on the Tougaloo campus, many of whom would spearhead major civil rights initiatives. Picketing and boycotting downtown Jackson businesses often included Tougaloo participants in pivotal roles. In May 1963, students faculty, and staff led the sit-in at the Woolworth's lunch counter and were attacked by an angry mob. Since blacks were barred from attending cultural events at public venues in Jackson, Tougaloo campaigned to dissuade celebrities from appearing in segregated facilities, and many cancelled their shows. Entertainers like folk singer Joan Baez came to Mississippi to support the movement, and many appeared at Tougaloo.
Segregationist spies noted car tags of whites in attendance at Tougaloo events and names of Tougaloo teachers and students protesting discrimination and reported them to the State Sovereignty Commission. During this tense time, the
Erected 2013 by the Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division. (Marker Number 13.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Freedom Trail marker series.
Location. Marker is unreadable. 32° 24.239′ N, 90° 9.588′ W. Marker is in Tougaloo, Mississippi, in Hinds County. Marker can be reached from Berkshire Drive north of Tougaloo Boulevard. Touch for map. Located on the southeast side of the Woodworth Chapel. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6550 Tougaloo Boulevard, Tougaloo MS 39174, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Choctaw Agency (approx. 1.9 miles away); Old Agency Road (approx. 2 miles away); Ridgeland (approx. 2.3 miles away); a different marker also named Old Agency Road G.I. Subdivision (approx. 3.2 miles away); Old Trace (approx. 4.4 miles away); Fortenberry-Parkman Farm (approx. 4.7 miles away); C.M. and I. College (approx. 4.8 miles away).
More about this marker. The condition of the rear of this marker has been reported to "Mississippi Tourism" (State of Mississippi) which is awaiting funding.
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 31, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 31, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Clearer photo of the reverse of this marker. • Can you help?