Aaron Henry at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

Audio:

Part 1
Part 1
Part 2
Part 2
Part 3
Part 3

Notes:

Audio courtesy of the University of Kentucky.

Aaron Henry

Date: 
Feb. 10, 1964
Related Documents: 
Aaron Henry
Aaron Henry Bio

 

Aaron Henry (1922-1997) was a civil rights activist and an American politician. Henry was born in Dublin, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers.  He served in the Pacific theater of World War II as a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army and later graduated from Xavier University with a degree in political science.  He was elected the president of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP in 1960.  As a civil rights activist he was arrested multiple times.  During the summer of 1961 he was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, for his participation as a Freedom Rider.  Later that year he was arrested for organizing a boycott against a Clarksdale, Mississippi, business that discriminated against black employees and customers.  Henry ran for Governor of Mississippi in a 1963 “mock” election where he overwhelmingly won.   Henry was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1982 where he served until 1996.

Abstract

Henry begins by describing his first experience with segregation as a child and becoming a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in high school. Henry mentions that he also experienced racial bigotry while serving in the United States Army. He describes organizing his local branch of the NAACP and his close friendship with Medgar Evers. He discusses threats against his life and the important role his family plays in keeping him active in the civil rights movement. Henry recruited volunteer guards to stand watch at his home after the murder of Medgar Evers and he describes the problems that this has caused him with the local police. Henry questions whether the racial problems of the South have prevented new employment opportunities in Mississippi. He concludes with his views on the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the lack of involvement of the Jewish community in Mississippi with the civil rights movement.

Transcript

Expand All | Collapse All

Related Documents

View all Media

Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities ©2014 | About | Contact