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'60s black boycott faces damage test in US court

In a major test of free expression, the Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether black residents of Port Gibson, Miss., must pay damages to white-run businesses, reports Monitor correspondent Julia Malone. The black townspeople and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People boycotted the white merchants for about four years beginning in 1966, after the town refused to end racial inequities.

Boycott organizers say they were exercising their rights to free political expression, but the merchants counter that the blacks used ''force, violence, and threats'' to enforce their boycott. The Mississippi Supreme Court sided with the merchants.

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