June 18: The Last Holy Day in the Jackson Movement Calendar [Hunter Gray/John R. Salter, Jr.]




"And we ended it then.  That's where we ended it.  I never again engaged in
the luxury of hating those people or trying to relive it."  -- H

This is a post I made two years ago.  The date, as it is now was June 18.
And then, as now and as we have for each June 18 since 1963, I mark another
year that I've been able to live.  I have had, so far, a reasonably
adventurous life which has, inevitably, been characterized by a fair number
of close brushes with death since I was a Teen.  Indeed, shortly after I
made the attached post of two years ago, I was struck openly [as many, of
course, know] by the most lethal version of SLE Lupus, surviving so far
several close calls and a dozen medics and various hospitalizations and
about 20 pills per day.  "We are just grateful,"  my good spouse Eldri tells
me frequently, "that we have you."

Well, it's certainly mutual.  And that catches the fact that, 42 years ago,
it was, as I put it,  "June 18: The Last Holy Day in the Jackson Movement
Calendar" -- and a point where I and a friend were well into the Fog that
precedes the Spirit World.

Yesterday, a long and kind letter arrived from an old friend who Eldri and I
had known in the context of an international union and with whom we had,
decades ago, lost touch.  He had found my Hunterbear website and wrote, " I
have been reading your website -- and am continually moved by remembrance
and by your amazing accomplishments  . . ."

Well, that is always good to hear -- and it's certainly good to be back in
contact with him -- but he is no slouch himself.  For decades he has been
involved on behalf of Labor, both out in the field and in academia, with a
special focus on worker health and safety.  He has kept going, Eldri and I
have certainly tried to do so, and so have others. Ed King wrote recently,
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland [of our Woolworth Sit-In and much more] called
yesterday, and Bruce Hartford of Civil Rights Movement Veterans
[ http://www.crmvet.org ] passed along a welcome note from Colia Liddell
Lafayette Clark.  It is she who, as President of the North Jackson NAACP
Youth Council, successfully asked me to become the Advisor of that
determined group at the beginning of the Fall term, 1961, at Tougaloo.
Colia, of course, fights on, and she wrote Bruce Hartford:

"Please have Hunter Bear (John Salter) give me a ring or e-mail at the
address below. Tell him that the great great grand children of Ben Grimke
are still in battle for the land and the freedom. Please give all John's
family my love."

A few days ago, we launched our grandson/son, Thomas Gray Salter [half
Mississippi Choctaw] and his wife, Mimmie [from Zambia] off to Duluth,
Minnesota, where Thomas will start Medical School next week with a focus on
rural medicine and Indian health.  With that move to the North Country
successfully accomplished, Eldri and I [and others here] can spend a few
minutes thinking about June 18.

But we won't brood about it too much.  If we had, and especially if we had
been trapped by the hatred of our assailants as well as that hatred which,
for a time, threatened to envelop me, we would not, with our many friends
and colleagues who went successfully through their own tough crucibles, kept
moving steadily toward that Better World Over The Mountains Yonder.

Late Spring, 2003:

About two years ago, the right cheekbone side of my face -- badly smashed
eons before in Another Time -- began to hurt significantly and
intermittedly, swell slightly, then recede. [From early childhood on, I've
always been able to handle pain.]  This went on consistently for those two
years.  Then, during the marathon Jeep speaking trip I recently took [with
Eldri] -- 3700 miles and nine states in eleven days -- I suddenly felt
something very strange 'way up in the upper right hand inside of my mouth.
We stopped hurriedly at an Interstate rest stop.  It was a large thin and
somewhat molded piece of ancient bone-gray plastic -- into which were
blood-vessel/bone type indentations.  It was very old, crumbled when I broke

We knew then just what it was.

Since then, more pieces have come.

The pain and the swelling are gone.  Something is now healed; something else
is no longer needed.

Memories remain, cut into the inside of my skull.


The night of June 18, 1963:

Flat on the operating table, I looked up at the young white surgeon poring
over me.  Behind him stood an array of other whites.  Medical whites.

Mississippi whites.

"You'd like to kill me, wouldn't you?" I asked him.

He shook his head slowly, sadly.

Then it was many hours later, next morning.  I was still alive.

At 11:30 a.m. on the previous day of Tuesday, June 18, 1963 on Hanging Moss
Road on the north end of Jackson, Mississippi, a colleague of mine, the
Reverend Ed King, and I were heading back to our Tougaloo College base
following a meeting with one of our lawyers, Jack Young.  He had told us
matter-of-factly that we were both being indicted by the Hinds County Grand
Jury on "inciting to riot" charges. I was driving my little blue '61 Rambler
and we were passing through the white area in fairly steady both ways
traffic.  Police had been following us as we headed north but now, suddenly
and inexplicably, had turned off.

A week before, in our massive Jackson Movement, Medgar Evers had been shot
and killed.  A day or so after that I was beaten by police into bloody
unconsciousness during a demonstration on Rose Street and then taken to the
huge Fairgrounds Concentration Camp. Two days later, I met Martin King and
his party at the Jackson airport and took Dr King and several members of his
group in my car to the funeral at the Negro Masonic Temple on Lynch Street.
Six thousand of us subsequently marched two miles in 102 degree heat from
the Masonic Temple to the Collins Funeral Home on North Farish Street -- the
first "legal" civil rights march in the history of Mississippi.  Then we had
a huge spontaneous demonstration -- so many that the police only arrested 29
of us, taking us to the Fairgrounds encampment while Governor Ross R.
Barnett called the National Guard into Jackson to supplement the many, many
many hundreds of white Mississippi lawmen of all kinds.

And the mobs of white vigilantes.

Suddenly, at my left and from a side street, right through its stop sign,
came a lunging, plunging car -- driven by a young white.  In the intricate
maneuvering, his car forced a large, heavy oncoming third car directly into
our path.

We hit head on.  When I regained consciousness, I knew my car was destroyed.
The windshield was smashed and part of Ed King's face clung to it.  We were
both blood-drenched and Ed was still unconscious. Standing all around us,
not far away, was a growing crowd of grinning and laughing whites --  many
of them.  The white police were standing with them.

The quite innocent driver of the third car -- that which had been forced
into us head-on -- was uninjured.

Finally, after at least a quarter of an hour, the police came over.  One
asked, to which of the hospitals did we wish to go?  Only I could answer,
and I said St Dominic's, the Catholic hospital.

They took us instead to the Southern Baptist hospital but not inside -- not
right away.  For a bit, we lay out in the yard in front of the hospital,
while drought-breaking rain sprinkled down on us, and a brief discussion
occurred inside about the propriety of receiving us.  Then, we were finally
taken inside. Ed was carried somewhere but I was placed on a cot in a public
aisle -- while two dozen or more Jackson police walked grinning around my
ostensible bier.

Finally, we were in a hospital room.  I was able to call a brother of mine
in Arizona before someone rushed in and took the phone away. I wanted my
brothers and our rifles from Flagstaff.

Heavily armed Mississippi lawmen were stationed outside our door -- and it
had little to do with "protecting" us

Ed slept consistently -- but I only intermittedly. Then Ed's wife,
Jeannette, was there and told me that Eldri -- who, with Baby Maria I had
forced out of Jackson via plane for safety's sake to her parents in
Minnesota days before and under an assumed name -- was flying desperately
down.  Maria remained with her grandparents.

Jeannette had a copy of the afternoon paper, the Jackson Daily News.  It had
a big headline, "Integration Leaders Hurt Here:  Salter and King Hurt In

And a banner headline told us, "President Calls Jackson Mayor."  It
developed that President John Kennedy and his brother, Robert, the Attorney
General, had been busy on their phones to Jackson officials both the
preceding day, Monday -- as well as this day, Tuesday.

There was a picture of Jackson Mayor Allen Thompson holding a telephone.
Said the caption, "Peace Will Return."  Under it was a sentence, "Mayor
Thompson says Jackson will again be peaceful for both races when the outside
agitators are defeated. . ."

And then there something else:  the fact that that very Tuesday afternoon,
as we awaited heavy surgery, conservatives from the Strategy Committee of
our Jackson Movement were meeting unilaterally with the Mayor. In fact, it
was going on at that very moment that Jeannette held the newspaper, reading
to me.

Surgery for both Ed and me took many hours. I was first, then Ed.  Ed's face
was badly -- hideously cut -- and in my case many bones were smashed and
broken from the right side of my face all the way down through my ribs. My
right eye-lid had been intricately sliced, almost off, but miraculously the
eye was unhurt.

Later, when an attorney of ours, the hard-fighting and super courageous Jess
Brown [an interesting mix of African, Native American, and Scottish] came to
see us, he grabbed a janitor's broom and, shuffling and scraping, pushed it
down the corridor and around the corner right to our locked door.  The
heavily armed Mississippi lawmen let him in.

Once in there, he whipped out a yellow pad and took testimony.

Wednesday's morning paper, the Clarion-Ledger -- and Jeanette King -- had
more on the Kennedy phone calls to Jackson.

And then from both  the paper and Jeannette, I also learned that, as we had
laid bloodily that preceding Tuesday afternoon in the hospital, the
conservatives on our Movement's Strategy Committee had indeed met with Mayor
Allen Thompson and others -- and agreed to a  modest "settlement."  It was
all given a very big play.

And Eldri arrived.

As it turned out, the Jackson Movement -- Mississippi's largest grassroots
upheaval -- had shaken the very foundations of Jackson and the sovereign
State of Mississippi.  And its bloody ramifications  reached across Dixie
and the nation -- and out into the whole wide world.

I heal fast and was out in a few days, heavily bandaged. Ed King was in the
hospital much longer, subsequently having many plastic surgery operations
over several years.  We both kept going in the Southern Movement -- and then
beyond in many other campaigns.

Soon after I was out, the Rambler salesman came to our Tougaloo home with a
new car to sell me.  As I was signing the papers, he said, in regretful
fashion, that he was sure I understood why CIT Credit Corporation would be
unable to offer me the usual life insurance protection for my investment.

I told him that, of course, I understood.  Pointing to a Winchester 44/40
lever action rifle on a table, I told him "That's my life insurance."

Nothing was ever done to the young white man -- actually just an older
Teen -- who was  the son of a prominent Citizens' Council politician and

Seven years after that, in May 1970, following a successful civil law
suit/damages proceedings in Jackson, it was late afternoon in the old
Anglican-type Hinds County court room.  Here's what happened then:

From an oral history done by me for the John C. Stennis Library, Mississippi
State University, Starkville, December 26, 1990 -- one of several such
histories I've done over the years.  But this one also had this:

"I stood with Ed and Jeanette King and a couple of other people in one
corner . . .And it was about 4:30 in the afternoon.  This other group stood
over on the other side; this was the immediate, primary family that had been
involved in this situation.  And I looked at the old father and the mother
and they were just two scared old people.  And I looked at this boy who had
been eighteen then; now he was twenty-five and a medical student on the
brink of becoming a doctor.  And I looked at his older brother, a lawyer in
Jackson, who had a reputation for actually being very moderate and good on
good issues.

And there we stood, our little group in one corner of that courtroom and the
other little group in the other corner -- because there was something that
remained to be done and there were some people from the old days who stood,
just watching to see what was going to happen.

And my eyes locked with the older brother's eyes.  Maybe the fact that I'm
the older brother in my family had something to do with it.

But my eyes locked with his and we began walking toward each other out into
the center of that almost deserted courtroom.

And as one we stuck out our hands and we shook hands.  And I told him, "Tell
your brother that we wish him well in his career as a physician."

And he held onto my hand, the older brother, and shook it with as much
emotion as anyone has ever shook my hand and said, "That means so much to
us, Professor Salter. You have no idea how much that means."

I could see that this was reaching their little family further over.  And
there were signals from them, they sort of half-waved.

And we ended it then.  That's where we ended it.  I never again engaged in
the luxury of hating those people or trying to relive it.

Then we went on and, as far as I know, I think the boy's become a quite
successful doctor in another Southern state.  I don't know the fortunes of
the rest of the family.  I do know that it was important to end that because
people have to live together and there comes a time when you can no longer
afford the luxury of just hating people."

Hunter Gray  [John R. Salter, Jr.] Chair of the Strategy Committee of the
Jackson Movement  of 1962-63

Hunter - How excellent to hear from you - do keep me on your mailing list! So
much of your experience I filter through David Halberstam's "The Children," or
vice versa. 
Vivian Berg  6/18/05

I remain in awe of the courage of those who stood on the front lines in
those times. Sometimes they stood there because they were young and
couldn't feel death at their side. Sometimes they stood there because they
were extraordinarily brave. But most of them, most of you, I suspect
stood there because of a courage most of us don't have - knowing the
dangers, being in great fear, yet refusing to leave.

What a great heritage.

June 18th, by the way, is just one day after June 17th, the date in 1953
when our "illusions" about a permanent Iron Curtain were torn asunder by
the workers
uprising in East Berlin.

David  [McReynolds]  6/18/05

From Hunter Bear:  6/18/05
Those are good words, Dave, and especially meaningful since they come from
you yourself -- who have displayed such deep and enduring courage on many
fronts indeed.  You have the Oak Wood Commitment -- that of a long burning
and very effective fire.  I knew of you and admired you long before we met
in that [bizarre] little world called ASDnet.

Take care, amigo, and all best - H

an amazing read from an amazing man.

rock on.

xxoo [Kass Fleisher[ 6/18/05
Dear Hunter,

The events you so vividly recall and recount are monuments to the growth of humanity.  I do quite a bit of creative visualization for the betterment of our little planet, but would like to be a bit more tangible in my efforts. I am deeply moved by the compassionate slack you gave to the people who harmed you.  This quality is likely the most crucial tool for the development of a creature.
Always good to hear what you are thinking about!
Andrew [Braunberger]  6/18/05

Hunter, I'd like your permission to reprint this note --  I am a
contributing editor to a poetry e-zine,


based in Zurich.  One of the things I'm doing for them is to publish short
essays in a section called "comment and controversy".  So, that's where I
would like to put this --if it's ok with you.

Chuck [Levenstein]  6/19/05
I said I was honored and Chuck wrote again:  "Great!  Take a look at Niederngasse -- especially my poems in Poems of WW III."

Hunter Gray  [Hunterbear]  Micmac / St Francis Abenaki / St Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
with [Toltec] Tezcatlipoca

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings.  Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunterbear


"Red" Politics/Red Blood -- And the Signal June 6 Anniversary [Hunter Gray  June 6, 2003]

Note by Hunterbear [Hunter Gray -- formerly John R Salter, Jr]:

Along with countless others, I helped make some history in a number of
places -- and, although my focus remains  always on contemporary challenges,
I don't have any hesitation at visiting old battlefields and crucibles.

This is the 40th Anniversary of the legendary Jackson Movement epoch --
e.g., months of painstaking grassroots organizing under the most challenging
circumstances; our prolonged and bloody Woolworth Sit-In; massive marches;
hideous repression and massive arrests; the huge concentration camp at State
Fairgrounds; The Injunction; ambush murder of Medgar Evers; ever-more
massive demonstrations and arrests; the rigged auto wreck which destroyed my
car and seriously injured myself and Rev. Ed King; and much much more high
and blood-dimmed drama. The struggle reached out to involve Martin King
on-the-scene -- and the Kennedys from Camelot.

For years, the generally sanitized local "official" celebrations of the
Jackson Movement -- while focusing almost solely on the tragic murder and
heroic martyrdom of Medgar -- deliberately or otherwise  miss many of the
other significant dimensions  of the Jackson Movement:  the great courage of
a vast number of grassroots African American people and their non-Black
allies; brutal, wide-ranging and deadly attacks by hordes of police,
sheriffs and deputies, highway patrolmen, deputized and other vigilantes,
Klan types.

And the many dirty filthy garbage trucks used to carry the many hundreds and
hundreds and hundreds of arrested demonstrators away to barbed wire, police
dogs, dirty food, and tainted water.

And the cowardly vacillation of much of the National NAACP -- and Federal

Some writers have covered this saga with detail and honesty -- and others
have sought simply to cover it up.

I was Advisor to the Jackson Youth Council of NAACP, a member of the Board
of Directors of the Mississippi State Conference of NAACP Branches, a member
of the Executive Board of the Jackson adult NAACP -- and Chair of the
Strategy Committee of the Jackson Movement.

A number of Jackson Movement participants frequently visit our large website
www.hunterbear.org  Among them are Joyce and Dorie Ladner, Ed King, Joan
Trumpauer Mulholland --  and many others. "Keep adding things, always" said
Cleveland Donald, Jr recently in a very long telephone visit.  At 15,  he
was one of our key
Youth Council leaders and is now a well known Black historian.

Jackson does have something these days of an Official Civil Rights Tour. One
of these times I'll take it -- incognito.

But the respectables in Jackson -- and Mississippi generally -- don't ever
invite me to give talks down there.  Many of the speakers they do have were
never involved in the struggle -- if they were even anywhere around.  But
I'll be around for a long time indeed.  Most people on both sides of my
family [and that of Eldri] live close to the century mark.

In those days, the two Hederman papers -- the Jackson Daily News and the
Clarion-Ledger -- were the most rank and racist dailies in the South.  In
time, as Mississippi changed -- along with the rest of  hard-core Dixie --
the younger Hedermans took over and eventually turned the JDN and CL into
[all things considered] relatively good papers.   And then, about the time
we  felt we could half-way depend on this new incarnation of the Jackson
dailies, the younger Hedermans sold out to the Yankee Gannett chain [1982]
and,  themselves moving to New York City, bought the New York Review of
Books -- which they continue to own and control.  Gannett later merged the
two Jackson papers into one Clarion-Ledger.

After the sanguinary Jackson Movement epoch and at the end of the Summer of
'63, I went to work for the radical Southern Conference Educational Fund as
Field Organizer -- and here's a bit of how that was handled by the Old
Jackson Daily News:

Jimmy Ward, Editor, on the front page of the Jackson Daily News, September
26, 1963 did, as he had so often, mixed my Indian background with his
presumption of my politics:

"The Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc., has announced that Prof.
John R. Salter, Tougaloo College professor who sought to grab control of
Negro agitation in Jackson, has joined Carl Braden, convicted Fifth
Amendment guy from New Orleans. This announcement causes about as much
surprise as day breaking, the moon rising, the sun setting and evening
falling. They are of the same trouble-making tribe. Heap Redskins in that
integrated teepee at Tougaloo.

Jackson gains in citizenship as the mustard-splattered Prof. John R. Salter
of Tougaloo flies East and joins in fellow field traveling Carl Braden,
ex-jailbird who served time for playing mum to Federal agents on his alleged
Communist activities. Salter who also got peppered in lunch counter
demonstrations was supposed to be a great sociology instructor. Now he will
play second fiddle to an ex-convict. What a case of deflation but one must
take orders from on high. Who will be the next to show their real colors.
Not her? Not him? What's going on Tougaloo?

As Prof. John Salter departs and takes up residence in Raleigh, N.C., to
continue his graduate work in hate, let it be recalled that the Daily News
on numerous occasions warned the Negro leadership of Jackson to be careful
of the purposes of those squattin' and sittin' and prayin' incidents last
summer. As Salter joins Braden does the light shine brighter on those
warnings today?

Will the departure of Prof. John R. Salter, heap big trouble-maker who
leaves Tougaloo College to play second fiddle to an ex-convict known as Carl
Braden, have any influence on the frequency of parties being conducted
between students of different institutions of higher learning hereabouts?
Will students still be worried over their grades if they don't participate
those fancy parties? Who will answer these questions?"

See this entire clipping and my notes on it at

And  my Personal Background Narrative at

[Carl Braden, btw, had never used the Fifth Amendment in his appearance
before HUAC.  He used the First -- in a major test case which he lost.
Later, however, Pete Seeger used the First and won.  Also, as SCEF Field
Organizer, I didn't play "second fiddle" to Carl or anyone else.  Basically
I worked pretty much on my own all over the hard-core South, reporting to
our excellent Executive Director, Jim Dombrowski, and to the SCEF Board of

This date, June 6th, marks the 40th Anniversary of The Injunction -- known
in law and historically as City of Jackson v John R Salter, Jr.  I consider
it my Real graduate degree in activist organizing.

In addition to myself, the other named targets were:  Dick Gregory
[activist, comedian]; Ed King [Tougaloo chaplain]; Dr A.D. Beittel
[President of Tougaloo Southern Christian College]; J.W. Jones [SNCC
worker]; Rev. Charles Jones [Campbell College chaplain]; Gloster Current
[National Director of Branches, NAACP]; Mercedes Wright [Southeast Regional
NAACP Youth Director]; Medgar W. Evers [Mississippi Field Secretary, NAACP];
Willie Ludden [Southeast Regional NAACP Youth staff]; Dave Dennis [Field
Secretary, CORE]; Bette Anne Poole [Tougaloo student activist]; Johnny
Frazier [Mississippi NAACP Youth leader]; the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People; the Congress of Racial Equality; the trustees
of Tougaloo College -- and then, apparently to wrap all of this up, the
terminology, "their agents, members, employees, attorneys, successors, and
all other persons in active concert with them" was duly attached.

See  http://www.hunterbear.org/most_sweeping_anti.htm  for a look at the
thing.. [On the several pages around it is additional material on the
Jackson Movement -- and, further on in our website, much on the Southern
Conference Educational Fund and my work as its Field Organizer.]

City of Jackson was probably the most sweeping anti-Movement injunction
handed down in the history of the Civil Rights Movement.  [I was, as I've
mentioned, Chair of the Strategy Committee of the Jackson Movement. ]  The
several page  injunction sought to prohibit us from organizing and carrying
out demonstrations,  from conspiring to do so, and "from doing anything to
consummate conspiracies" to do so.  It was served on me  on June 6, 1963 by
a large  retinue of heavily armed deputy sheriffs, wide-brim hatted, who
appeared to feel they were handing me Writ from God (and not just from the
Chancery Court.)  We defied the injunction, of course, and did so massively.

The injunction was prepared by the late Thomas Watkins, one of Mississippi's
most brilliant (if utterly twisted on race) attorneys -- used by the State
as a special consultant in key civil rights cases.  Here is the basic text
of Watkins' piece of strange art:

"Now, therefore, you are hereby commanded and temporarily enjoined, until
further order of this court, from engaging in, sponsoring, inciting or
encouraging mass street parades or mass processions, or like demonstrations
without a permit, unlawful blocking of the public streets or sidewalks,
trespassing on private property after being warned to leave the premises by
the owners or person in possession of said private property, congregating on
the streets or public places as mobs, and unlawfully picketing business
establishments or public buildings in the City of Jackson, Hinds County,
Mississippi, and from performing acts calculated to cause breaches of the
peace in the City of Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, and from conspiring
to engage in unlawful street parades, unlawful processions, unlawful
demonstrations, unlawful boycotts, unlawful trespassing, and unlawful
picketing, and from doing any acts designed to consummate conspiracies to
engage in said unlawful acts of parading, demonstrating, boycotting,
trespassing and picketing or other unlawful acts and from engaging in acts
and conduct customarily known as "kneel-in's" (sic) in churches in violation
of the wishes and desires of said churches.

You will refrain from doing any of the foregoing acts until the further
notice of this Court, upon penalty of contempt."

The first hearing on City of Jackson v. John R. Salter, Jr. was scheduled
for mid-September -- 90 days away.  As I say, we defied the damn thing

Turbulent times -- bloody, and  ruthlessly candid and honest.

And deeply effective in the Trail to the Sun.

Hunter Gray  [Hunterbear]  Micmac / St Francis Abenaki / St Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings.  Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunterbear]





Распродажа - Новый год в Питере: Календари нового года. Календари изготовление.