With a heavy heart, I am saddened to share the news of the passing of Mississippi Civil Rights icon Meredith C. Anding, Jr., who died Friday at the age of 79. He was an active member of the NAACP, where he worked closely with Medgar Evers.

In 1961, Anding was one of the nine students, who were undergraduates at Tougaloo College, and staged sit-ins at the all-white Jackson Main Library in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to the sit-ins, African Americans were prohibited from using the city’s main library. The nine students were members of the Jackson Youth Council of the NAACP. Medgar Evers, who was then president of the Jackson branch of the NAACP, trained them for the sit-in protest.

The group was later known as the Tougaloo Nine. We indeed are indebted to Mr. Meredith Anding Jr., James S. Bradford, Alfred L. Cook, Geraldine Edwards, Janice Jackson, Joseph Jackson Jr., Albert E. Lassiter, Evelyn Pierce, and Ethel Sawyer for the bravery sacrifices that they have made towards injustice in this country, and the continued equality for African Americans today.

Please join me in offering sincere condolences to his family and the Touglooo College community during this sorrowful time.