Wednesday, April 18, 2007

June Johnson, Mississippi civil rights hero, dies

One more civil rights hero has died ...

June Johnson

Miss. civil rights activist June E. Johnson dies
Associated Press Writer

In June 1963, on the way back from a voter registration workshop in South Carolina, June Johnson, then 15, was arrested at a Winona, Miss., bus station along with civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and others.

The Montgomery County sheriff asked Johnson if she was a member of the NAACP. When she answered yes, he hit her on the cheek and chin, and then as she raised her hand to shield her face, he punched her in the stomach. The sheriff and three other white men continued to beat her.

"I raised my head and the white man hit me in the back of the head with a club wrapped in black leather," Johnson said in the sworn statement in historian John Dittmer's 1994 book "Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi."

"They made me get up. My dress was torn off and my slip was coming off. Blood was streaming down the back of my head and my dress was all bloody," she said. (Posted April 18, 2007)

Story Continued --

Files in the Sovereignty Commission can be found at

Here are several links ...

Ramparts Magazine published an account of the incident and a copy of the 65-page article is found in the files ...

The Sovereignty Commission report on "alleged police brutality" against Mrs. Johnson and others ...

File copy of a newspaper account ...

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