James Meredith

James Meredith

A significant figure in the movement of American citizens in defense of their own rights.
Date of Birth: 25.06.1933
Country: USA

Biography of James Meredith

James Meredith, a significant figure in the American civil rights movement, was born on June 25, 1933, in Mississippi, into a family of Native Americans. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and faithfully served from 1951 to 1960. Following his military service, Meredith enrolled in Jackson State College and studied there for two years.

James Meredith

After some time, James attempted to gain admission to the University of Mississippi, but he was consistently denied due to his race. However, James Meredith eventually succeeded in becoming a student at the coveted institution. This momentous event occurred on October 1, 1962. While James was thrilled, the majority of white students were instead angered.

Massive riots erupted at the university, requiring significant time and effort, including the involvement of federal troops, to restore order. Two people, including a journalist, lost their lives during the tumultuous protests. Some individuals faced fines and prison sentences, although these sentences remained largely on paper. For a long time, Meredith was persecuted, as fellow students refused to live with him in dormitories, attend lectures with him, or eat meals together. When James appeared in public, most people turned their backs on him.

Despite everything, Meredith successfully completed his studies at the University of Mississippi and continued his education at the University of Ibadan and Columbia University. He ultimately earned a bachelor's degree in law. In the years that followed, Meredith remained politically active and even made several attempts to enter Congress.

Regardless, James Meredith's persistence and victory became pivotal moments in the history of civil rights in the United States. He was never forgotten, and in 2002, he was invited to the University of Mississippi to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its desegregation and was honored with a special gift. At that time, he was also invited to a seminar where he recounted the events of the past that had left an indelible mark. Currently, Meredith lives in Mississippi with his wife, daughter, and two sons.