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40 Years Ago: Police Kill Two Students at Jackson State in Mississippi, Ten Days After Kent State Killings

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Four decades ago, on May 4, 1970, four students were killed at Kent
State University when National Guardsmen opened fire on hundreds of
unarmed students at an on-campus antiwar rally. The killings received
national media attention and are still remembered forty years later
across the country. But the media has largely forgotten what happened
just ten days after the Kent State shootings. On May 14, 1970, local and
state police opened fire on a group of students at the predominantly
black Jackson State College in Mississippi. In a twenty-eight-second
barrage of gunfire, police fired hundreds of rounds into the crowd. Two
were killed and a dozen injured. We speak with Gene Young, a former
student at Jackson State who witnessed the shooting.

"Fire in the Heartland", excerpt from
the new documentary ‘Fire
in the Heartland: Kent State, May 4th, and Student Protest'
.

Gene Young, witness to the Jackson State
tragedy and longtime civil rights activist. He began his activism as a
pre-teen, getting arrested for civil disobedience at a bus station at
the age of twelve. Before his thirteenth birthday, Young took his first
plane ride to New York to speak to civil rights groups. He attended the
1963 March on Washington and testified at the House of Representatives,
alongside civil- and voting-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. He has
continued his activism to this day and was a featured speaker last week
at an event commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State
shootings.

 

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