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In The Office of Registrar Luther Cox

In The Office of Registrar Luther Cox

“How Many Bubbles in a Bar of Soap?”

(p.3) Prologue In The Office of Registrar Luther Cox
Count Them One by One
Gordon A. Martin
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter describes how the black citizens of Forrest County, Mississippi, were unable to register to vote while Luther M. Cox, Jr. was registrar. In April 1952, nine black men and women who were refused registration prepared affidavits about their experiences, which were then sent to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The nine affidavits reached the New York desk of NAACP special counsel Thurgood Marshall, who sent them to President Truman’s last chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, requesting “an immediate investigation of these complaints and the necessary definitive action to insure the protection of the right of qualified Negro electors to register and vote in the State of Mississippi.” Herbert Brownell, President Eisenhower’s first attorney general, submitted one of the affidavits to Congress in advocating for what became the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Keywords:   blacks, Forrest County, Mississippi, voter registration, NAACP, Thurgood Marshall, Civil Rights Act

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