Mississippi Freedom Trail Honors Tougaloo Nine

JACKSON, Miss. – 56 years ago, nine Tougaloo College students sat together in the pursuit of equal rights.

The Tougaloo nine’s mission was very simple, to take a stand by sitting.

“It’s about time, it’s been long overdue,” Tougaloo 9’s Geraldine Edwards Hollis said. “We appreciate it.”

“We weren’t allowed here then, and we are now” Meredith Anding said.

In a special ceremony Thursday, the group known as the Tougaloo 9 was honored for their 1961 sit-in at the then-segregated Jackson municipal library.

The marker stands at the site of that old segregated library just across from the Eudora Welty library.

“We knew we were going to jail, but we didn’t know what that meant,” Tougaloo 9’s James Bradford explained.

“The librarians at the time were not at all helpful to the Tougaloo 9,” Jackson-Hinds Library Executive Director Patty Furr said.

We’re told the Tougaloo 9 were instrumental in desegreating libraries across the south.

“They felt empowered to go outside the campus and respond to the social issues of that day,” Tougaloo President, Dr. Beverly Hogan said.

“For those of us who want to get beyond racism, want to get beyond Nazism and the confederacy, we have to have places where we can gather in peace,” Evelyn Araujo said.

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