The Tougaloo Nine

In 1961, nine African American students who were members of the Tougaloo NAACP Youth Council participated in Mississippi’s first civil rights “read-in”at the whites-only Jackson Municipal Public Library. On March 27, 1961, the Tougaloo Nine, four females and five males, entered the segregated main branch of the municipal library in search of source material for a class assignment. When the students took seats and began reading, a library staff member called the police. After refusing orders by the police chief to leave the library, the Tougaloo Nine were arrested. The read-in drew support from students at Jackson and Tougaloo colleges as well as Millsaps, a predominantly White college in Jackson. The Tougaloo Nine were charged and convicted of breach-of-peace. Each of them was fined $100 and given a 30-day suspended sentence.

Sources:

“Civil Rights Driving Tour of Hinds County”produced by the Associated Press, Tougaloo College, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Development Authority (Tourism Division).