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Civil Rights Diary
September 14, 2015
Civil Rights Diary
Sweet Ole Miss
The University of Mississippi is home of the Rebels and the white man. Here at Ole Miss we gain a quality education among students who we have things in common with. I can’t believe all the hostility about segregation and desegregation. I sure am glad we don’t have to worry here at the university. It is peaceful and a great institution of higher education. I don’t know how I would handle all that fighting and hostility if an African American wanted to join our campus.
Rumor Has It
I just heard that an African American student has tried to apply to become a student here at the University of Mississippi. I guess I spoke too soon when I thought it was going to be another peaceful year here at Ole Miss. I wish I knew more about who it was trying to get in. I feel like if they try too hard people here are going to push back with a vengeance. No one seems happy about this student trying to get in. I guess I plan to stay out of the violence. I don’t care much for people getting angry about something we have no control over (it just seems silly).
Come to find out the guy who applied was James Meredith. He was in school before, but I guess he is some kind of civil rights activist so he wants to attend school here. I heard he even “obtained a court order from Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black enjoining the university to admit him” (Moss & Thomas, 2013, "Let Freedom Ring"). After I found out the governor stepped in and still told the university not to admit him! This is going to turn violent real quick. People here at the university are in an up roar and experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. I don’t know if I should panic, riot, or just stick to my studies. I really would prefer if this situation wouldn’t escalate. The way it seems to be going, though, I might have no choice in the matter.
Wouldn’t You Know It
You know I figured something fishy was going on here. I remember learning about the Brown V. Board of Education case and how it effectively was supposed to end segregation in the public school system. I had heard many African Americans were getting into white colleges all over. As luck would have it I found out James Meredith according to History.com Staff (2010), “applied repeatedly to Ole Miss without success” (para. 3) in the two years he attended college at Jackson State College. According to National Portrait Gallery (2012), “The university rejected his application twice, and it would take a year and a half and the force of the United States Supreme Court for Meredith to be admitted.” (para. 6). That’s why he had a court order to be allowed to attend; he was already fighting the system long before we heard about it. I can’t believe how hard he is trying to prove he is worthy of an education here. I mean I don’t know him personally but he must be very passionate to work so hard to achieve something that could potentially hurt him. People still don’t know what is going to happen when he steps foot on campus for the first time. I sure hope he gets the chance to sign up for classes, he deserves it after the effort he has put in.
Only naturally would it have to end in violence. When James Meredith tried to show up on campus he had federal government protection! This did not make very many people on campus happy. There was a huge mob out there to meet them. I wasn’t getting involved; I know how violent situations can escalate. Boy did I ever make the right choice. Two people ended up shot! This is crazy, how can people be so judgmental. All James wants is to attend classes. After those deaths and so many injuries the government sent in marshals and troops to clean up the mess. I’ve never seen so many troops in one place at one time.
According to University of Mississippi (n.d.), “The university admitted its first African-American student,
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James Meredith, University of Mississippi, Meredith, Jackson, Mississippi, Ole Miss Rebels football
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