James Meredith (born June 25, 1933) was the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi, amid two years of court battles and rioting which killed two people and injured many more. After graduating from Ole Miss with a degree in political science, he received a postgraduate degree in economics from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and a law degree from Columbia Law School. He was shot during the 1966 March Against Fear. #TodayInBlackHistory
June 6, 1966 - Civil rights activist James Meredith grimaces in pain as he pulls himself across Highway 51 in Hernando, Miss. after being shot during a voting rights march. Meredith, who defied segregation to enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1962, completed the march from Memphis, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., after treatment of his wounds. (AP Photo/Jack Thornell)
MISSISSIPPI 1966 | June 5, 1966, equipped with a sun helmet, walking stick, and Bible, James Meredith, began a 220-mile March Against Fear from Memphis, TN, to Jackson, Miss., to encourage African Americans in Miss. to register to vote and prove an African American man could walk free in the South. On the second day of the March outside Hernando, Miss. he was shot, but completed the march after recoveri from his wounds. 4,000 Black Mississippians registered to Vote as a result.
Constance Baker Motley (September 14, 1921 - September 28, 2005) won 9 out of 10 cases she argued before the Supreme Court, including one that admitted James Meredith to Ole Miss. She was the first African American woman admitted to Columbia Law School, to become a federal judge, and to be elected to the New York State Senate. She began her career as a clerk at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund under Thurgood Marshall where she wrote the original complaint in Brown v Board of Education.
In 1962, James Meredith was the first African American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, an event that was a flashpoint in the American civil rights movement. October 1, 1962.
James Howard Meredith was the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi. Two people were killed and at least 75 injured when white students and opponents of desegregation started a riot. Hundreds of extra troops, federal marshals and police were brought in to join Federal forces already stationed in the nearby town of Oxford.