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I would like to bring to the attention of your readers a matter which ought to be of concern to Kenyon students. As many of them may already know, integrationists in Jackson, Miss., under the leadership of the North Jackson NAACP Youth Council, are engaged in a mass boycott of stores practicing anti-Negro discrimination.
The objects of the boycott are 1) The hiring and promotion of personnel on the basis of merit alone; 2) an end to segregated drinking fountains, restrooms, and seating; 3) use of courtesy titles ("Mrs.," "Miss," and "Mr.") for all customers; 4) service on a first-come, first-served basis.
The boycott, now in its fourth month, has had the overwhelming support of the Negro population of Jackson for these moderate aims. Nevertheless, opposition, supported by the White Citizens' Council, has been bitter. Pickets have been harrassed and arrested, a lawsuit has been brought against the boycott leaders, one of their homes has been fired on, and dynamiting has been threatened. To add to the effectiveness of the boycott, an appeal has been made for students throughout the country to bring more pressure upon those national chain stores included in the boycott.
A group of Kenyon students, under the name of the Student Social Action Committee, have organized to support this campaign for human equality. As our first step, we are circulating a petition voicing our concern and urging the end of discriminatory practices.
During spring vacation a delegation of Kenyon students will present this petition to the national offices, in New York, of those of the Jackson stores represented in this area (i.e. J. C. Penney's and Wolworth's, both of Mount Vernon [Ohio]). We will report the outcome of this action to the student body following vacation, and base consideration of further action, if any, on it.
I would urge all those who have any concern for social justice and human dignity to support this protest against racial discrimination by adding their names to the Petition.
Frederick L. Houghton '63,
for the SSAC