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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Racist American Legion Spoiled Wedding, Couple Says

GREENVILLE, MISS. (CN) - The American Legion spoiled the wedding day of a white couple who got married with a best man who is black, Gerry and Jessica Whitehead and their best man, Paul Ashby, claim in Federal Court.

The Whiteheads claim that when they went to American Legion Post 130, in Baldwyn, Miss., for their wedding reception, the American Legion told Ashby he was not welcome there and refused to serve him. After Ashby refused to leave without being served, the Whiteheads say, "the Post Commander, Billy Joe Blankenship, (informed them) that if the black man wanted another beer, she, or another white person, would have to get it for him". And they claim the Legion refused to close the room where they were holding their wedding reception "because the bar staff had to keep an eye on the black man." Jessica cried uncontrollably and the party left. They demand punitive damages. They are represented by Victor Fleitas of Tupelo.

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