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Mississippi Negroes Arrested for Boycotting Downtown Merchants

Dec. 7, 1961 - Seven Negroes were arrested today in Clarksdale, Mississippi, on charges of “withholding trade” from downtown merchants. The arrests followed a Negro boycott against white merchants for what the NAACP called discriminatory practices. The seven, including Aaron Henry, state head of the NAACP, were seized under a state law that prohibits “conspiracy to prevent others from exercising lawful trade or calling.” In Jackson, Medgar Evers (pictured), NAACP field secretary, called the arrests “a violation of our constitutional rights.” The charge is a misdemeanor. If convicted, each face a minimum fine of $25 and a possible sentence of 1 to 6 months.


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