Jackson City Hall

Here at city hall, numerous ordinances were enacted over the decades to reinforce segregation in Jackson. One such ordinance, passed in the 1940s, prohibited taxicabs from transporting African Americans and whites together unless the African American was the white person’s servant. In 1956, an ordinance was passed requiring “common carriers of persons”to maintain separate waiting rooms and restrooms for the white and “colored”races.

On May 27, 1963, NAACP and other boycott leaders walked out of talks with Mayor Allen Thompson, signaling the continuation of the movement’s direct action campaign.

At that time, Jackson’s city government consisted of a mayor and two commissioners, all elected at large. In the 1980s, the citizens of Jackson voted to change to a mayor/ council form of government, with city council members elected from individual wards. Soon thereafter, Jackson’s first African American city council members were elected. In 1997, Harvey Johnson, Jr., became the first African American to be elected mayor of Jackson.

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).