Samuel Younge Jr.
November 17, 1944
January 3, 1966
Age at Death:
Samuel Younge Jr. was born in Tuskegee, Alabama to his parents Samuel Sr. and Renee Younge. Younge had one younger brother, Steven. Younge grew up in the middle class, and attended the Cornwall Academy and Tuskegee Institute High School. After graduating from school, he joined the Navy, in which he served from 1962 to 1964. Younge was discharged from the Navy in July of 1964 after kidney failure resulted in him having one kidney removed. After leaving the Navy, Younge enrolled in the Tuskegee Institute as a political science student. Younge was heavily involved in the civil rights movement while at the Tuskegee Institute, joining the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Tuskegee Institute for Advancement League civil rights groups. Younge led several protests, including multiple sit-ins, to protest for civil rights. Younge continued his civil rights efforts until his death in 1966.
On January 3, 1966, Younge got in a heated argument with the attendant at a gas station in Tuskegee after wanting to use a whites-only bathroom. The attendant insisted he use the colored bathroom behind the store, and threatened Younge with a gun not to use the regular bathroom. Younge reported the attendant to the police, which caused the attendant to begin shooting at him. After exiting the cover he had taken, Younge was shot in the face, killing him.
Was justice served?
As of February 2021, justice has not been served. The station attendant was indicted for second degree murder and tried on December 7. However, the trial was moved from Macon County to Lee county, which resulted in an all-white jury. The attendant was acquitted by the jury the next day. The acquittal resulted in protests outside the White House and the SNCC coming out against the United States' involvement in Vietnam.