Aaron Henry was born on July 2, 1922 in Dublin, Mississippi. In 1954, after serving in the army, and then attending Xavier University in New Orleans, he joined the Mississippi state branch of the NAACP. Just five years later, in 1959, he became the Mississippi state president of the NAACP and worked closely with Medgar Evers. After great involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, Henry went on to serve in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1982-1996.
In 1961, Henry helped organize a boycott of several retail stores in Clarksdale, Mississippi that would not employ black people. As a result of this, he was imprisoned and charged with interfering with trade. Eventually, he was jailed thirty-three times in various protests, endured death threats and suffered the bombing of his pharmacy by Klan members. Medger Evers' assassination had a deep impact on Henry and he said about his subsequent work that it was so, "he [Evers] didn't die in vain." Later, Henry helped to form the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDF) and the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). Henry received a lot of criticism for advocating a middle ground approach between conservative NAACP politics and the more militant activism of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Henry died in 1997 after serving in the House of Representatives for fourteen years.
Information for this biography was gathered from the following sources: