More than 225 negroes and white clergyman picketed the Forest Country Courthouse in Hattiesburg under police protection on 22 January.
Clergymen demonstrating, negroes registering to vote (huge man is the County Supervisor of Elections. He administered a severe literacy test to negroes who appeared to register. Under local law, a registrant is notified by mail in a week or so if he has passed the literacy test. The test consists of questions on a section of the state and federal constitutions.
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Background: More than 225 negroes and white clergyman picketed the Forest Country Courthouse in Hattiesburg under police protection on 22 January. They were protesting the country's voter registration practices which, the clergymen charged, denied the county's negroes the right to vote. There was heavy police protection; no incident, and only one arrest.
The pickets said it marked the first time in Mississippi that a biracial demonstration had taken place without interference from the authorities or from white segregationists. The group has continued picketing on the 23rd and 24th. the city officials said that the demonstrators had thrived on mass arrests and violence, and the consequent publicity during a previous voter registration drives and other civil rights demonstrations in other parts of the south. They said the peacefulness of this demonstration represented a victory for the forces of law and order.