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Racial Turmoil in McComb, Mississippi

Oct. 20, 1961 - A Negro student revolt has pushed the city of McComb, a segregationist stronghold in southwestern Mississippi, to the brink of a serious racial crisis. The conflict has been marked by two sit-in demonstrations, a mass walkout (pictured) from a Negro high school and a parade through downtown McComb which ended in an abortive attempt to hold a prayer meeting on the City Hall steps. More than 100 Negroes have been arrested, most of them because of the City Hall protest. The school walkout resulted from a dispute over the readmission of 16-year-old Brenda Travis to the school. She took part in sit-in demonstrations last August. George Guy, the police chief, said he did not think whites would attempt to take matters into their own hands so long as it appeared that the police were in control. As for the opposition to desegregation, he declared, “The people here are going to fight it as long as they can. They’ve got to.”


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