Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Meredith, James (1933–)

Meredith was the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi. He applied to the segregated University of Mississippi in 1961 and was admitted, but the registrar denied him enrollment after discovering his race. He sued and won at the US Supreme Court. His arrival at Ole Miss sparked riots, quelled only by the National Guard presence. After graduating in 1963, he went on to receive economics and law degrees in Nigeria and New York. In 1966, he organized the March Against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, and was shot by a sniper early on. He continued to be active in politics for the remainder of his career, joining the ranks of the Republican Party.