Tougaloo College

Tougaloo College was founded in 1869 by the American Missionary Association on land formerly occupied by an antebellum cotton plantation worked by slaves. One structure that remains from that time is the building housing the president’s office known as “The Mansion.” The Tougaloo College campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. As a private, church-supported institution, Tougaloo and its administration, faculty, and students were able to take strong stands supporting the Jackson civil rights movement. For example, the Tougaloo Nine participated in Mississippi’s first civil rights read-in at the whites-only Jackson Municipal Library and Tougaloo College was the final staging area for James Meredith’s “March Against Fear.”The campus was the location for countless meetings, including the biracial social science forums organized by Professor Ernst Borinski. Those meetings, as well as planning sessions, conferences, and rallies attracted activists, dignitaries, and entertainers from across the country, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrew Young, Bayard Rustin, James Farmer, James Forman, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ralph Bunche, Julian Bond, Robert Kennedy, James Baldwin, Marlon Brando, Sammy Davis Jr., Burt Lancaster, Dick Gregory, Joan Baez, and others. The Zenobia Coleman Library at Tougaloo maintains a vast collection of documents, tapes, and artifacts related to the movement, along with the personal papers of many Mississippi activists.

Videos referencing Tougaloo College:

These videos can also be viewed here.


“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).