(From L-R) John Salter, a sociology teacher and students Joan Trumpauer and Anne Moody stage a sit-in demonstration challenging racial segregation at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi on May 28,1963 [700×571]

In May 1963, John Salter, a sociology teacher from the historically black Tougaloo College and NAACP youth adviser, joined black and white Tougaloo students during a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter at the Woolworth’s store in downtown Jackson. A mob of young white people doused them with sugar, mustard and ketchup and attacked Salter with brass knuckles and broken glass.

“I was burned with cigarettes, hit and had pepper thrown in my eyes,” Salter wrote in an article published in The Guardian in 2015. “The women weren’t struck, but had their hair pulled. All the while the air was filled with obscenities, the n-word — it was a lavish display of unbridled hatred.”

Like many civil rights activists in the 1960s, Salter was monitored by people working for the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a state-funded spy agency that sought to preserve segregation.

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