An American Insurrection: James Meredith and the Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962 by William DoyleIn 1961, a black veteran named James Meredith applied for admission to the University of Mississippi — and launched a legal revolt against white supremacy in the most segregated state in America. Meredith’s challenge ultimately triggered what Time magazine called “the gravest conflict between federal and state authority since the Civil War,” a crisis that on September 30, 1962, exploded into a chaotic battle between thousands of white civilians and a small corps of federal marshals. To crush the insurrection, President John F. Kennedy ordered a lightning invasion of Mississippi by over 20,000 U.S. combat infantry, paratroopers, military police, and National Guard troops.
Based on years of intensive research, including over 500 interviews, JFK’s White House tapes, and 9,000 pages of FBI files, An American Insurrection is a minute-by-minute account of the crisis. William Doyle offers intimate portraits of the key players, from James Meredith to the segregationist Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett, to President John F. Kennedy and the federal marshals and soldiers who risked their lives to uphold the Constitution. The defeat of the segregationist uprising in Oxford was a turning point in the civil rights struggle, and An American Insurrection brings this largely forgotten event to life in all its drama, stunning detail, and historical importance.
What Happened to James Meredith? (Jerry Skinner Documentary)
In , he became the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi , after the intervention of the federal government, an event that was a major point in the Civil Rights Movement. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy 's inaugural address, Meredith decided to exercise his constitutional rights and apply to the University of Mississippi. His goal was to put pressure on the Kennedy administration to enforce civil rights for African Americans. Meredith enlisted in the United States Air Force right out of high school and served from to He then attended Jackson State College for two years.
James H. Meredith Images
James Meredith Talks About His 1966 March Against Fear
James Meredith was one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement. In he became the first black student to successfully enroll at the University of Mississippi. The state's governor, Ross Barnett, vociferously opposed his enrollment, and the violence and rioting surrounding the incident caused President Kennedy to send 5, federal troops to restore the peace. Meredith graduated from the University of Mississippi in he had entered the university as a transfer student from an all-black college. For a number of years, Meredith continued to work as a civil rights activist, most notably by leading the March Against Fear in , a protest against voter registration intimidation.