Woolworth Sit-In, Jackson Mississippi, May 28, 1963
On May 28, 1963, Tougaloo College students Pearlena Lewis, Anne Moody, Trumpauer Mulholland, and Memphis Norman, along with their sociology professor, John Salter, sat at the whites-only lunch counter to challenge segregation. For three hours, the group endured insults and attacks by an increasingly violent white mob. Memphis Norman was physically thrown from his seat and kicked in the head as he lay on the floor. The rest of the white mob slapped the protesters, hit them with items from the lunch counter, and even burned cigarettes on their skin. Others dumped drinks on the protesters or laughed as others covered them in sugar, mustard, and ketchup. Jackson Daily News photographer Fred Blackwell took the now iconic photo of the sit-in that depicted the anger of the white mob.
Backstory and Context
John Salter was the head of the Jackson MS NAACP Youth Council and a sociology professor at Tougaloo College. An oral history interview of his experiences in the movement and beyond appears below.