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Two Negroes and White Professor Assaulted in Jackson, Miss.

May 28, 1963 - Two Negroes and a white college professor were assaulted today in a sit-in demonstration that marked the start of a drive by Negroes in Jackson, Mississippi against discrimination. The violence broke out before noon in a downtown store when three young Negroes staged a lunch-counter sit-in. One Negro youth was knocked off a stool at the F.W. Woolworth Company and kicked repeatedly in the face by a white man who was later identified as a former Jackson policeman. Uniformed city officers remained outside the store while a crowd of several hundred white persons pushed Negroes to the floor and doused them with ketchup, mustard, and sugar. A white professor at Tougaloo Southern Christian College, John R. Salter, was struck by an unidentified white youth when he joined the Negroes at the Woolworth counter. Mr. Salter’s cheek was cut. Other white youths poured salt and pepper into the wound and emptied ketchup and mustard dispensers over the professor’s head. Benny G. Oliver, 26, a former policeman, pushed through the crowd and knocked Memphis Norman, 21, a Negro, from his stool at the counter. Mr. Oliver also pushed two Negro girls, Annie Moody, 22, and Perlina Lewis, 21, off their seats to the floor. As Mr. Norman lay on the floor, Mr. Oliver began kicking him in the face until blood spurted from his mouth and nose. City Detective J.L. Black, who observed this assault, came to the scene after a few moments and placed both Mr. Oliver and Mr. Norman under arrest. Mr. Oliver was released on a $225 bond. After treatment at a hospital, Mr. Norman was released on $100 bond.


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