John Salter Jr., demonstrator in 1963 Mississippi lunch-counter sit-in and professor, dies at 84Historians in the News
tags: obituaries, civil rights, protests
When John Salter Jr. arrived in Mississippi in 1961, he was 27 and had already served in the Army, worked as a labor organizer in Arizona, received a master’s degree in sociology and taught at a college in Wisconsin. He was taking a new job as a professor at Tougaloo College, a historically black institution a few miles outside the state capital of Jackson.
Mr. Salter did much more than teach at Tougaloo. He became a close associate of Medgar Evers, the NAACP’s Mississippi field secretary, and helped organize what became known as the Jackson Movement.
Mr. Salter, who later changed his name to John Hunter Gray to honor his American Indian heritage, was perceived as white at the time.
Mr. Salter — as he was known throughout his career as an activist and academic — died Jan. 7 at his home in Pocatello, Idaho, at age 84. He had recovered from systemic lupus, said a son, John Salter III, who could not cite a specific cause of death.
In Mississippi, the home of Mr. Salter and his wife became an informal headquarters for civil rights activists.
comments powered by Disqus
- Jill Lepore Reviews Seven New Books About the Apollo 11 Mission
- ‘Reckoning’ Follows a 50-Year Road to #MeToo
- The Daughters of the Confederacy Who Turned Their Heritage to Political Ends
- What Should Happen to Confederate Statues? A City Auctions One for $1.4 Million
- Richmond Is at a Crossroads. Will Arthur Ashe Boulevard Point the Way?
- Leading historians and academics to launch five-year project to chronicle the UK's history dating back to 1603
- Holocaust historians divided over Warsaw ghetto museum
- The Holocaust Survivor Who Deciphered Nazi Doublespeak
- Peter Selz, Curator and Art Historian Committed to the New, Is Dead at 100
- When John Hope Franklin and Pepsi Made a Black History Record