MacArthur Cotton was born and raised in Attala County, Mississippi. He was the second youngest of 16 children. While attending Tougaloo College, he became involved in the student movement and became active with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) as a volunteer. He participated in sit-ins at lunch counters and as a Freedom Rider in 1961, he was arrested and imprisoned in Parchman Prison Farm. In 1963, he became a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) field secretary doing voter registration work in Greenwood, and was later one of the first SNCC organizers to work in Walthall County in the dangerous southwest corner of the state.
See Tougaloo Nine and Jackson State Protest, Freedom Rides, and Mississippi Voter Registration Greenwood for general background & more information.
For more information on MacArthur Cotton see Profiles: Macarthur Cotton, (One Person One Vote).
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