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In 1962, the "Jackson Nonviolent Movement" began to change business as usual in Mississippi. The upstart organization, comprised largely of local teens, targeted prominent Jackson businesses, demanding that basic employment and consumer rights be extended to African Americans. They insisted that the segregation, degradation, and physical abuse grimly familiar to black consumers in the white marketplace be confronted and addressed. In the spring, when a pregnant African-American mother was verbally and physically assaulted by a white grocer, the Movement called a church meeting, distributed leaflets, and led a successful boycott against the store. Months later, this strategy was reemployed with a massive boycott of downtown businesses and the demand that "Negro consumers ... [be] treated as they ought to be-as first class citizens" (Salter, 1987, pp. 36, 56).


Originally published in Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 11 (1), 73-91, (Spring, 1994). Taylor & Francis.