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Meredith, James

b. 1933

James Meredith was the first black student admitted to the University of Mississippi. An Air Force veteran, he attended all-black Jackson State College and then applied twice to the all-white university, where he was denied admission. With legal assistance from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), he filed suit and won on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Violent riots aimed at blocking Meredith’s enrollment in 1962 resulted in two deaths and nearly 200 U.S. Marshals and soldiers injured. After graduating, Meredith studied at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and earned a law degree from Columbia University. In June 1966, he began a solitary 220-mile Walk for the Poor from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi. When Meredith was shot the second day, Dr. King, Stokely Carmichael, Floyd McKissick and hundreds of others continued his walk as a March Against Fear. After recovering, Meredith led the march into Jackson.

Associated Archive Content : 19 results

A Letter to Meredith

In "A Letter To Meredith" Dr. King discusses the challenges faced by James Meredith as a student at the University of Mississippi. -

Address By Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the SCLC

Senator Edward M. Kennedy highlights Dr. King's efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. He also expresses concerns about poverty, unemployment, nonviolence, segregation and integrity.

Anonymous letter to MLK

An anonymous individual expresses their concern with the methods and efforts Dr. King is using to achieve his goals through the Civil Rights Movement.

Current Magazine

This Current Magazine issue on racism in the U.S. features an article "Is Direct Action Necessary" by Dr. King, as well as pieces by James Meredith, James Reston, and others.

Insight Broward: Bullets, Backflips & Baby-Talk

Moreland Smith forwarded a copy of Insight Broward Magazine for Dr. King to view. In this collection of articles, Jim Corvell expresses his disapproval of Alcee Hastings, a local NAACP lawyer, who was a candidate for the House of Representatives. Coryell heatedly describes his efforts to thwart what he called "the [N]egro racist's political plans.

James Meredith Article

A newspaper article describes an argument that occurred between James Meredith and a group of black deacons in the city of Canton, Miss. The argument ultimately led to Meredith stating "I can understand why so many Negroes have been lynched."

Letter from Eugen Bosch to MLK

Eugen Bosch writes to Dr. King to tell him that, "As always, King was rational and understanding and put the whole thing in the right perspective." Bosch is hopeful that Dr. King will help James Meredith, who had decided to run for Congress in a special election against the incumbent, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Letter From Harry A. Ploski to MLK

Harry A. Ploski writes Dr. King concerning a book he and Professor Roscoe Brown have written. Hoping to solicit endorsement, he encloses a copy of the table of contents and an outline of the topics addressed.

Letter from James H. Meredith to MLK

James Meredith writes from Nigeria to congratulate Dr. King on receiving the Noble Peace Prize and emphasizes that the struggle for human rights is a world-wide struggle. Meredith, the first African-American student to attend the University of Mississippi, was at that time a post-graduate researcher in Nigeria.

Letter from Reverend Virgil W. Glanton to SCLC

In this letter, Reverend Virgil Glanton gives a contribution to SCLC and offers support for the Meredith March.

Letter from Rita Machelle Foster to MLK

Rita Machelle Foster, an eighth grade student a Harvard Elementary School, requests any information or documentation provided by Dr. King for her composition on Negro History Week. Ms. Foster asks that Dr. King provide a photograph and discuss the James Meredith situation.

Man's Struggle for Freedom

The "Chicago Tribune" reviews Dr. King's book "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?"

Manifesto of the Meredith Mississippi March

Dr. King, Stokely Carmichael, and Floyd McKissick sign the Manifesto of the Meredith Mississippi March, which represents a "public indictment and protest of the failure of American society." In solidarity, they demand courses of actions to deal with voting fraud, strengthened civil rights legislation, and impartial application of the law.

Martin Luther King Does It Again

Ralph C. Bailey, a marcher in the New York City demonstration against the War in Vietnam, describes the demonstration as an "impressive spectacle" of people of all ages and races. He praises Dr. King for combining revolution with nonviolence in hopes of a peaceful demonstration.

Meet the Press

This transcript of a special 90-minute edition of NBC’s Meet the Press features Dr. King and other prominent Negro civil rights leaders discussing the topics of war, nonviolence, integration, unemployment and black power. The program was aired on radio and television.

Segregation and Political Allegiance

Dr. King addresses segregation calling it "a house of prostitution built to perpetuate an illicit intercourse between injustice and immortality." He references James Meredith, the African American student who was prohibited from enrolling at the University of Mississippi because of his race, and encourages the Federal Government to exercise the force of the Constitution. He also asserts that African Americans must recognize the importance of voting and uniting with allies whose "interests are common with our own."

Telegram from Clarence Brinson and Herman T. Osborne to James Meredith and MLK

Clarence Brinson and Herman T. Osborne salute James Meredith and Dr. King for their service and dedication to the Civil Rights Movement.

The Evening Star: The Perversion of a Cause

This article describes the effect of James Meredith's withdrawal from the race for Adam Powell's congressional seat. Civil Rights activists such as Dr. King, Mr. Carmichael and Mr. McKissick offer their opinions on how the race was handled.

University of Mississippi at Oxford Crisis

Dr. King discusses the Mississippi crisis after the admittance of James Meredith into the local University.