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James Meredith Is Barred from the University of Mississippi (1962) Options
Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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James Meredith Is Barred from the University of Mississippi (1962)

After a US federal court ruled that colleges could not deny admission to qualified students on the basis of race, civil rights activist James Meredith prepared to enter the segregated University of Mississippi. On the day of Meredith's enrollment, Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett stood in the doorway of the admissions office, physically blocking Meredith's entry, and informed him that his application was denied. Ten days later, Meredith returned—with 500 federal marshals. What happened then? More...
Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 9:31:02 AM

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"Known to be the first Black student" - interesting grounds for becoming notable.
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 9:45:01 AM

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James Meredith
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Related to James Meredith: Stokely Carmichael
For other people named James Meredith, see James Meredith (disambiguation).
James Meredith
James Meredith Portrait.png
James Meredith in 2007
Born June 25, 1933
Kosciusko, Mississippi
Education University of Mississippi
Columbia Law School, LL.B.
Known for First black student at the University of Mississippi
James Howard Meredith (born June 25, 1933) is a Civil Rights Movement figure, writer, political adviser and Air Force veteran. In 1962, he became the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi,[1] after the intervention of the federal government, an event that was a flashpoint in the Civil Rights Movement. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, Meredith decided to exercise his constitutional rights and apply to the University of Mississippi.[2] His goal was to put pressure on the Kennedy administration to enforce civil rights for African Americans.[2]
In 1966 Meredith planned a solo 220-mile March Against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi; he wanted to highlight continuing racism in the South and encourage voter registration after passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He did not want major civil rights organizations involved. The second day, he was shot by a white gunman and suffered numerous wounds. Leaders of major organizations vowed to complete the march in his name after he was taken to the hospital. While Meredith was recovering, more people from across the country became involved as marchers. He rejoined the march and when Meredith and other leaders entered Jackson on June 26, they were leading an estimated 15,000 marchers, in what was the largest civil rights march in Mississippi. During the course of it, more than 4,000 African Americans had registered to vote, and the march was a catalyst to continued community organizing and additional registration.
In 2002 and again in 2012, the University of Mississippi led year-long series of events to celebrate the 40th and 50th anniversaries of Meredith's integration of the institution. He was among numerous speakers invited to the campus, where a statue of him commemorates his role. The Lyceum-The Circle Historic District at the center of the campus has been designated as a National Historic Landmark for these events.
Early life and education

Meredith was born in 1933 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, the son of Roxie (Smith) and Moses Meredith.[3] He is of African-American, British Canadian, Scots and Choctaw heritage.[4] His family nickname was "J-Boy".[4] European traders intermarried with some Choctaw during the colonial period. In the 1830s, thousands of Choctaw chose to stay in Mississippi and become United States citizens when most of the tribe left their traditional homeland for Indian Territory during the federally imposed removal. Those in the state had unions with European Americans and African Americans (some of whom were enslaved), adding to the multi-racial population in the developing territory.
After attending local schools (which were segregated as "white" and "colored" under the state's Jim Crow laws) and graduating from high school, Meredith enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served from 1951 to 1960.[5]
Afterward Meredith attended Jackson State University for two years, achieving good grades.
Challenge to University of Mississippi

James Meredith in 1962
In 1961, inspired the day before by President John F. Kennedy, he started to apply to the University of Mississippi, intending to insist on his civil rights to attend the state-funded university.[6] It still admitted only white students under the state's culture of racial segregation, although the US Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional, as they are supported by all the taxpayers.
Meredith wrote in his application that he wanted admission for his country, race, family, and himself. He said,
Nobody handpicked me...I believed, and believe now, that I have a Divine Responsibility...[7] I am familiar with the probable difficulties involved in such a move as I am undertaking and I am fully prepared to pursue it all the way to a degree from the University of Mississippi.
He was twice denied admission.[8] During this time, he was advised by Medgar Evers, who was head of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
On May 31, 1961, Meredith, with backing of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, alleging that the university had rejected him only because of his race, as he had a highly successful record of military service and academic courses. The case went through many hearings, after which the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that Meredith had the right to be admitted to the state school. The state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which supported the ruling of the appeals court.[9]
On September 13, 1962, the District Court entered an injunction directing the members of the Board of Trustees and the officials of the University to register Meredith.[10] The Democratic Governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, declared "no school will be integrated in Mississippi while I am your governor". The state legislature quickly passed a law that denied admission to any person “who has a crime of moral turpitude against him” or who had been convicted of any felony offense or not pardoned. The law was directed at Meredith, who was accused and convicted of “false voter registration” in Jackson County.[6]
On September 20, the federal government gained an enjoinment against enforcement of this Act and of the two state court decrees that had barred Meredith's registration.[10] That day Meredith was rebuffed again by Governor Barnett in his efforts to gain admission, though university officials were prepared to admit him.[10] On September 28, the Court of Appeals, en banc and after a hearing, found the Governor in civil contempt and ordered that he be arrested and pay a fine of $10,000 for each day that he kept up the refusal, unless he complied by October 2.[10] On September 29, Lieutenant Governor Johnson was found in contempt by a panel of the court, and a similar order was entered against him, with a fine of $5,000 a day.[10]
The US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had a series of phone calls with Governor Barnett between September 27 to October 1.[11][12][13] Barnett reluctantly agreed to let Meredith enroll in the university, but secretly bargained with Kennedy on a plan which would allow him to save face.
Barnett committed to maintain civil order. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy ordered 500 U.S. Marshals to accompany Meredith during his arrival and registration. On September 29, President Kennedy issued a proclamation commanding all persons engaged in the obstruction of the laws and the orders of the courts to "cease and desist therefrom and to disperse and retire peaceably forthwith", citing his authority under 10 U.S.C. § 332, § 333, and § 334 to use the militia or the armed forces to suppress any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.[14][15][10]
Rioting at the University

US Army trucks loaded with steel-helmeted US Marshals roll across the University of Mississippi campus on October 3, 1962.
Main article: Ole Miss riot of 1962
On the evening of September 29, after State Senator George Yarbrough withdrew the State Highway Police, a riot broke out the following day. Whites opposing integration had been gathering at the campus. Despite the Kennedy administration's reluctance to use force, it ordered the nationalized Mississippi National Guard and federal troops to the campus. In the violent clashes which followed, two men were killed by gunshot wounds, and the white mob burned cars, pelted federal marshals with rocks, bricks and small arms fire, and damaged university property.
The next day on October 1, 1962, after troops took control, Meredith became the first African-American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.[16] Meredith's admission is regarded as a pivotal moment in the history of civil rights in the United States. He persisted through harassment and extreme isolation to graduate on August 18, 1963, with a degree in political science.[17]
Many students harassed Meredith during his two semesters on campus,[18] but others accepted him. According to first-

with my pleasure
Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:47:32 PM

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The issue did not end there – if anything, the whole controversy was inflamed still further when state officials and students at the university voiced their opposition to Meredith being given a place there. Threats were made against Meredith and Robert Kennedy, the Attorney-General, sent federal marshals to protect Meredith. Riots followed and 160 marshals were wounded (28 by gun shots) and 2 bystanders were killed on the Oxford campus.

Regardless of this, Meredith attended the university and graduated in 1964. However, being the focal point of such racism seemed to ignite a passion in Meredith. In March 1966, he started his ‘March Against Fear’ from Memphis to Jackson to protest against racism – especially the violence many African-Americans faced when attempting to register to vote. Shortly into his march, Meredith was shot and was hospitalised. However, his place on the march was taken by such figures in the civil rights movement as Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael who determined to finish the march on Meredith’s behalf.

Meredith rejoined the march on June 25th, 1966 after his hospital treatment. On the following day they reached their target – Jackson in Mississippi.
Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:47:52 PM

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