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Brave Youths Defy Police Guns, Dogs and Mississippi Jails

BETWEEN NOON and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15, the city of Jackson, Miss.,
had fairly come to a standstill. For a fourth of the Negro population, in serried ranks that stretched out for 20 blocks, was marching through Jackson behind the white hearse that bore the
bullet-punctured body of their beloved leader -- Medgar W. Evers, the NAACP field secretary for  Mississippi slain by an assassin's bullet in the early morning hours of June 12.

All business establishments along the route of march were closed or shuttered. All cross-traffic had come to a stop. As the silent cortege moved through the "white" part of town in measured step, I watched, as I walked, the faces of the white citizens who sat in their cars at the intersections, who formed clusters in the windows of stores and dwellings on either side of the concrete-surfaced street
along which we marched, or who gathered in little clusters at the
corners and in front of taverns.

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Now and then one could hear the nervous but mirthless giggling of some young women onlookers. Passing a tavern the raucus blare of a juke box rock-and-roll recording cut into the reverent stillness of the scene.


But for the most part, the faces I saw bore a grim and troubled
countenance. One could identify the expressions of fear, of hate,
of bewilderment and startled disbelief. Also, I could see etched
in the faces of some, lines of of compassion and sorrow, and
there were heads inclined downward at an angle of shame and 
embarrassment. The white onlookers for the most part were as silent and apparently reflective as were the close-ranked columns of Nero marchers.

Nor were the Negroes marching alone. For integrated in their ranks was a small representation, a score or more of those millions of white Americans who are increasingly coming to see their own identity with the Negro's struggle for justice.

The mayor had imposed brutal conditions for the funeral procession. Among the stipulations was one prohibiting any singing or shouting of slogans. Two blocks from the terminal point of the mile and a half pro-
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