On 5th June, 1966, Meredith started a March Against Fear from Memphis to Jackson, to protest against racism. Soon after he was shot by sniper. When they heard the news, other civil rights campaigners, including Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Floyd McKissick, decided to continue the march in Meredith's name.
In 1961 He finally got in. But Meredith's admission was opposed by state officials and students and the Attorney General. That's why Robert Kennedy decided to send federal marshals to protect him. Despite this opposition, Meredith continued to study at the University of Mississippi and successfully graduated in 1964.
The majority of the students accepted him. However some of them didn't and wanted to make his life terrible. They, for example, bounced basketballs on the floor just above his room through all hours of the night. They could turn their back when he was walking in the cafeteria. If Meredith sat at a table with other students, they would get up and sat to another table.
He got rejected twice. So he made the decision of claiming that he had been denied admission to the university because of the color of his skin, but the district court rejected his allegations. However, on appeal, the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court reversed this ruling. The judges decided that he had indeed been refused admission only because of his race and that Mississippi was maintaining a policy of educational segregation.
After two years spent in Jackson state college, he decided to apply to the University of Mississippi 24 hours after Kennedy's inauguration ( January 21, 1961). He thought it was the perfect moment to do that. Indeed Kennedy had promised during his campaign to do something about civil rights.
James Meredith picked Ole Miss because it was a symbol of white prestige and power, a haven for the privileged and the finishing school for the sons of the elite.
"I always considered myself one of those sons". He was really proud of his family's roots in the state.
James Meredith was born on June 25, 1933 in Kosciusko, Mississippi , as James Howard Meredith. Meredith enlisted in the United States Air Force right out of high school and served from 1951 to 1960. He then attended Jackson State College for two years.