Aaron Henry receives MS Freedom Trail marker - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Aaron Henry receives MS Freedom Trail marker

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Aaron Henry will be honored with a marker on the Mississippi Freedom Trail August 6 in Clarksdale. The marker will be at the site of Henry's Fourth Street Drug Store, the only black-owned drugstore in the area and the hub of political and civil rights planning for three decades.

Henry, a Clarksdale pharmacist, was an early grassroots activist in the civil rights movement. As local NAACP President, he led the early 1960s Clarksdale boycott campaign, during which he was arrested and his home and pharmacy firebombed.

He was a co-founder of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and was the "Freedom Democrat" candidate for governor in a symbolic election in 1963.

At the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic, City, New Jersey, he led the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation, challenging the seating of the all-white delegation. Later, Henry served in the Mississippi Legislature from 1979-1995, where he worked to build a strong, interracial state Democratic Party.

Henry is also a former owner of WLBT.

The Mississippi Freedom Trail is a cultural initiative designed to commemorate the state's Civil Rights heritage. The trail offers a virtual tour of the state and those sites that played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement.

The first four markers were funded with donations from Tougaloo College, Visit Mississippi and local private and public contributions. Subsequent markers are being funded through community funds and the 2010 Civil Rights Historic Sites Grant Program passed by the Mississippi Legislature (HB 1701) and administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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