James Meredith

By: A'niyah Rochester

Who is James Meredith?

James Meredith is an American Civil Rights Movement figure, writer, political adviser and Air Force veteran. He became active in the Republican Party in the 1960s.
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More about James Meredith

  • Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi on June 25, 1933 and he was raised on a farm with nine brothers and sisters
  • He became first black student at the University of Mississippi in 1962
  • He unsuccessful ran for Adam Adam Clayton Powell Jr.'s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1967
  • He spent nine years in the Army Air Force before enrolling in Jackson State College (an all black school in Mississippi)
  • He also married Mary June Wiggins while serving in the U.S. military but she pasted away unexpectedly. Then married Judy Alsobrook the following year

Why he is important

James Meredith was an American Civil Rights Movement figure. In June 1966 he begin a solitary protest march, which he called the March Against Fear, from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi. During that march he was shot by a sniper but of course he did not die. The other figures in the civil rights movement as Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael who was determined to finish the mare on Meredith's behalf. Since he was the first African-American to attend the University of Mississippi he was putting his life on the line. By the end of the 1960's, he became a stockbroker and effectively stopped being a civil rights activist. He joined the Republican Party and attacked white liberals for being the 'greatest enemy' of African Americans.
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