July 25, 2005
John Salter’s role in Miss. will leave world in better shape
Mississippi has been forsaking one of its champions.
In Jackson in the early 1960s, my father – John Salter – was known variously as an outside agitator, the “mustard man” at the Woolworth’s sit-in, friend and colleague of Medgar Evers, Tougaloo professor, target for police clubs (successful), target for Klan bullets (unsuccessful), organizer of the Jackson boycott, race traitor, firebrand, rabble-rouser, hero.
My father went on from Jackson to fight the good fight in North Carolina, Illinois, New York, Arizona, Iowa, Washington, North Dakota and elsewhere. Now it isn’t the Klan out to get him, but Systemic Lupus – a chronic, usually fatal disease.
My father is a warrior, but this is a tough one to win. Some days his hands are rendered useless claws. But his soul and mind are strong and even in this state he’s doing what he can to leave the world in better shape than when he arrived.
I was with my father in 1979 when he spoke at a civil rights retrospective at Millsaps College. I was sitting in the audience next to Professor Jim Silver who, along with hundreds of others, gave my father a standing ovation.
A few years ago, my father changed his last name to Gray, the name his father was born with but held for only a short time before being adopted by the Salters. Mississippians will understand the importance of honoring one’s ancestry and, I hope, of paying tribute to those who helped make their history.
Learn much more about my father and his role in Mississippi by visiting his extensive website, www.hunterbear.org, or by reading his book, Jackson, Mississippi: An American Chronicle of Struggle and Schism.
John R. Salter III
Member, National Writers Union AFL-CIO
(much social justice material)
scrapbook. Three consecutive and full pages beginning with
this Link: http://hunterbear.org/a_piece_of__the_scrapbook.htm
See my personal reflections on Medgar Evers:
(Expanded, and with more photos in Fall 2012. Material on our Native
background.) And see Personal Background Narrative:
http://hunterbear.org/narrative.htm (Updated into 2012)
edition of my “Organizer’s Book,” JACKSON MISSISSIPPI —
with a new and substantial introduction by me. We are now at
the 50th Anniversary of the massive Jackson Movement
of 1962-63: http://hunterbear.org/jackson.htm