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‘A Minor White Girl . . . Negro Bucks and White Hoodlums’

Joan  Truampauer Mulholland

Parents of the several Freedom Riders incarcerated in the Jackson jails and Parchman, the state prison, routinely got in touch with officials in order to get various items to their children or simply to make sure their children were OK.

The mother of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland (above) wrote to the warden at Parchman, Fred Jones, to ask if she could send some medicine to her daughter. Jones replied he would be happy to get any necessary medicines to her daughter. But he also took the opportunity to chide her: “What I cannnot understand is why as a mother you permitted a minor white girl to gang up with a bunch of negro bucks and white hoodlums to ramble over this country with the express purpose of violating the laws of certain states and attempting to incite acts of violence.”

Mulholland had been arrested on June 8 at the train station in Jackson. At the time, she had dropped out a college after a freshman year at Duke and was living in Washington, DC, active with the Nonviolent Action Group, as the DC student movement was known, protesting segregation in the capitol, Maryland and northern Virginia.

After the Freedom Rides she transferred to Tougaloo, a black college in Jackson, from which she graduated in 1964. Since then she has lived in Arlington, VA, and worked for the Smithsonian, the Justice Department and as a teacher in the public schools. (She later changed the spelling of Trumpower, her then last name.)


2 Comments

[…] http://breachofpeace.com/blog/?p=54 […]

Posted by Anonymous on 12 August 2010 @ 3pm

[…] her mother. Mulholland says her mother was a “unrepentant segregationist.” Here is the superintendent’s reply: I have your letter in regards to your daughter Joan Trumpower. If there is any medicine you want […]

Posted by Toward a Manifested Courage | An Ordinary Hero on 17 May 2011 @ 5pm