in 1966, equipped with only a helmet and walking stick, #JamesMeredith
was shot while on a 220-mile one-man march that he called the "March Against Fear" from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, #Mississippi
. Four years prior, Meredith had become the FIRST African American to integrate the University of Mississippi. According to Meredith, the purpose of the march was to encourage African Americans in Mississippi to register to vote and to challenge the culture of fear perpetuated by white supremacists in the state.
"Mr. Meredith crossed the Mississippi border on the morning of June 6, 1966, accompanied by a handful of friends and supporters. State police and FBI agents monitored the march while reporters and photographers trailed behind. A few miles south of Hernando, Mississippi, Aubrey Norvell, a white salesman, ambushed Mr. Meredith from the woods and shot him in the neck, head, and back. Before he started shooting, Mr. Norvell warned bystanders to disperse and twice shouted out Mr. Meredith's name from the woods, but law enforcement did nothing to protect Mr. Meredith. He survived his injuries but was unable to immediately continue the march.
Enraged by the attack, civil rights leaders organized to continue the march to Jackson in Mr. Meredith's place. On June 26th, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Stokely Carmichael, and Floyd McKissick were among the thousands of marchers who completed the trip after weathering harassment and physical abuse from angry mobs and law enforcement alike. Mr. Meredith rejoined the march shortly before it reached Jackson and led a rally at the state capitol. In November 1966, Aubrey Norvell pleaded guilty to assault and battery and was sentenced to TWO years in prison."
#RightToVote #CivilRights #Protest #ThisIsAmerica #Activist #March #Racism #Intergration #Unrest #RepresentationMatters #MLK #EJI #StokelyCarmichael #FloydMcKissick