Civil rights icon James Meredith to talk to JC’s Honors Institute | JC Information

Civil rights activist James Meredith will speak to Jones College students at the Charles Pickering Honors Institute in the Fine Arts Auditorium on Ellisville Campus on Monday at 6 p.m. His speech will focus on “Into Our Future: Towards a New Day for Mississippi”.

This event is open to the public, but seating is limited. 88-year-old Meredith is accompanied to this discussion by retired US federal judge Charles Pickering. COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks and social distancing, are enforced.

“I think this is a momentous event that we have been working on for three years. Our students and everyone in attendance will surely hear from a brave man, ”said Dr. Ronald Bishop, Dean of JC Honors College and Social Science Instructor.

Meredith, a native of Kosciusko, is known nationwide as the first African American student to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962. Enrollment at the all-white university came at a crucial point in the civil rights movement. Initially, state officials refused to obey the US Supreme Court order to integrate the school and blocked Meredith’s access. Riots erupted on campus, killing two people before Meredith was admitted to the university under the protection of the federal marshals.

Meredith served in the US Air Force for nine years before attending the all-black Jackson State College from 1960 to 1962. His repeated applications to Ole Miss were after the verdict of his 1961–62 court battle. He won the case on appeal with legal aid from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In the fall of 1962, when the violence against mobs was imminent, US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy called on federal protection so Meredith could register for class. Meredith’s tenure at the University of Mississippi was brief. He graduated in 1963.

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