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June 6, 1966 - James Meredith Shot During "March Against Fear"
June 6, 1966 - James Meredith Shot During "March Against Fear"
Published: 2017/06/07
Channel: Voices of the Civil Rights Movement
1966 Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael Press Conference On The MARCH OF MISSISSIPPI!!
1966 Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael Press Conference On The MARCH OF MISSISSIPPI!!
Published: 2016/03/05
Channel: Hezakya Newz & Music
James Meredith Talks About His 1966 March Against Fear
James Meredith Talks About His 1966 March Against Fear
Published: 2009/06/10
Channel: visionaryproject
James Meredith resumes his
James Meredith resumes his 'March Against Fear' from the spot where he was shot i...HD Stock Footage
Published: 2014/05/30
Channel: CriticalPast
James Brown - Try Me Live 1966 (March Against Fear)
James Brown - Try Me Live 1966 (March Against Fear)
Published: 2017/09/23
Channel: James Brown archive
1966 Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael Press Conference On The MARCH OF MISSISSIPP
1966 Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael Press Conference On The MARCH OF MISSISSIPP
Published: 2016/03/26
Channel: Levafona Ovi
James Meredith  Mississippi "March Against Fear" Freedom March Newsreel www.PublicDomainFootage.com
James Meredith Mississippi "March Against Fear" Freedom March Newsreel www.PublicDomainFootage.com
Published: 2011/06/02
Channel: PublicDomainFootage
Million American March Against Fear
Million American March Against Fear
Published: 2013/09/13
Channel: urbanscopex
Dr. Leslie B. McLemore remembers the March Against Fear
Dr. Leslie B. McLemore remembers the March Against Fear
Published: 2016/06/10
Channel: Mississippi Today
NAACP "March Against Fear" Annual Banguet Celebration 2
NAACP "March Against Fear" Annual Banguet Celebration 2
Published: 2016/06/19
Channel: Meredith Coleman McGee
March Against Fear
March Against Fear
Published: 2013/09/12
Channel: Scripps Howard Foundation Wire
Million American March Against Fear
Million American March Against Fear
Published: 2013/09/11
Channel: Talk Radio News Service
JAMES MEREDITH, THE INTEGRATION OF OLE MISS AND THE MARCH AGAINST FEAR
JAMES MEREDITH, THE INTEGRATION OF OLE MISS AND THE MARCH AGAINST FEAR
Published: 2016/06/15
Channel: OleMissJournalism
1965 RARE Stokely Carmichael INTERVIEW!!
1965 RARE Stokely Carmichael INTERVIEW!!
Published: 2017/03/27
Channel: Hezakya Newz & Music
NC March Against Fear 2014
NC March Against Fear 2014
Published: 2014/06/10
Channel: cannabistv
Meredith March Against Fear
Meredith March Against Fear
Published: 2013/11/05
Channel: Newseum
Police Encounter - Day 6, March Against Fear NC
Police Encounter - Day 6, March Against Fear NC
Published: 2014/06/17
Channel: Todd Stimson
Million American March Against Fear on 9/11
Million American March Against Fear on 9/11
Published: 2013/09/13
Channel: urbanscopex
Flonzie Brown-Wright remembers the March Against Fear
Flonzie Brown-Wright remembers the March Against Fear
Published: 2016/06/10
Channel: Mississippi Today
Wicker Honors 50th Anniversary of James Meredith
Wicker Honors 50th Anniversary of James Meredith's Historic "March Against Fear"
Published: 2016/06/13
Channel: SenatorWicker
9/11 March Against Fear and Anti-Muslim Backlash with Kevin Barrett
9/11 March Against Fear and Anti-Muslim Backlash with Kevin Barrett
Published: 2013/09/13
Channel: TheLipTV
Million American March Against Fear on 9/11/13
Million American March Against Fear on 9/11/13
Published: 2013/09/13
Channel: urbanscopex
Million American March Against Fear on 9/11
Million American March Against Fear on 9/11
Published: 2013/09/13
Channel: urbanscopex
Joe
Joe's Story - March Against Fear 2014
Published: 2014/07/02
Channel: Todd Stimson
MARCH AGAINST FEAR - 50 YEARS LATER
MARCH AGAINST FEAR - 50 YEARS LATER
Published: 2016/11/03
Channel: OleMissJournalism
Day Eight - March Against Fear NC
Day Eight - March Against Fear NC
Published: 2014/06/22
Channel: Todd Stimson
Day 6 - March Against Fear NC
Day 6 - March Against Fear NC
Published: 2014/06/17
Channel: Todd Stimson
Nashville March Against Fear #1
Nashville March Against Fear #1
Published: 2015/07/19
Channel: NR Davis
PART 1/2: Million American March Against Fear- WhatReallyHappened.com Interviews Dr Kevin Barrett
PART 1/2: Million American March Against Fear- WhatReallyHappened.com Interviews Dr Kevin Barrett
Published: 2013/08/25
Channel: freedommv1
Day Seven - March Against Fear NC
Day Seven - March Against Fear NC
Published: 2014/06/21
Channel: Todd Stimson
NAACP "March Against Fear" Annual Banguet Celebration
NAACP "March Against Fear" Annual Banguet Celebration
Published: 2016/06/19
Channel: Meredith Coleman McGee
Green Report - NC house bill 1161, March Against Fear, DEA
Green Report - NC house bill 1161, March Against Fear, DEA
Published: 2014/06/03
Channel: ChappellPuppets
Eyes On The Prize - (Part 7) The Time Has Come 1964–1966
Eyes On The Prize - (Part 7) The Time Has Come 1964–1966
Published: 2016/04/15
Channel: INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT
Night Flight James Merideth March Against Fear
Night Flight James Merideth March Against Fear
Published: 2008/11/07
Channel: galaxigrl68
Million American March Against Fear
Million American March Against Fear
Published: 2013/09/08
Channel: Crysii Watkins
Tens of thousands attend march against fear in Barcelona
Tens of thousands attend march against fear in Barcelona
Published: 2017/08/29
Channel: Odd Newz
Nashville March Against Fear 2a
Nashville March Against Fear 2a
Published: 2015/07/19
Channel: NR Davis
March Against Fear NC - Days 11 & 12a
March Against Fear NC - Days 11 & 12a
Published: 2014/06/27
Channel: Todd Stimson
Day Twelve on March Against Fear 2014
Day Twelve on March Against Fear 2014
Published: 2014/06/27
Channel: Todd Stimson
#MAMAF (Million American March Against Fear) - PALI
#MAMAF (Million American March Against Fear) - PALI
Published: 2013/09/09
Channel: TheNewworldimage
Day Fifteen of March Against Fear 2014
Day Fifteen of March Against Fear 2014
Published: 2014/07/01
Channel: Todd Stimson
HISTORIC 1966 THROWBACK: James Brown, MLK, Dick Gregory, Stokely, Sammy Davis Jr., At TOUGALOO!
HISTORIC 1966 THROWBACK: James Brown, MLK, Dick Gregory, Stokely, Sammy Davis Jr., At TOUGALOO!
Published: 2017/09/08
Channel: Hezakya Newz & Music
Day Two - March Against Fear NC
Day Two - March Against Fear NC
Published: 2014/06/11
Channel: Todd Stimson
Million American March Against Fear Wrap-Up
Million American March Against Fear Wrap-Up
Published: 2013/10/19
Channel: American Free Press
The Million Muslim March Against Fear   video
The Million Muslim March Against Fear video
Published: 2013/09/15
Channel: ENTERT AINCOVERSZZ
Day Three - March Against Fear NC
Day Three - March Against Fear NC
Published: 2014/06/12
Channel: Todd Stimson
March Against Fear, Washington, D.C., 9/11/13, High Noon
March Against Fear, Washington, D.C., 9/11/13, High Noon
Published: 2013/10/19
Channel: American Free Press
Part 2/2: Mike Rivero interviews Dr Kevin Barrett Million American March Against Fear on 9/11
Part 2/2: Mike Rivero interviews Dr Kevin Barrett Million American March Against Fear on 9/11
Published: 2013/08/25
Channel: freedommv1
Chronic Pain Patient - March Against Fear 2014
Chronic Pain Patient - March Against Fear 2014
Published: 2014/07/14
Channel: Todd Stimson
March Against Fear 2014 - Intro
March Against Fear 2014 - Intro
Published: 2014/06/10
Channel: Todd Stimson
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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March Against Fear
Part of the Civil Rights Movement and
Black Power movement
Date June 6 – June 25, 1966 (19 days)
Location Memphis, Tennessee, Mississippi Delta, Jackson, Mississippi
Resulted in
Parties to the civil conflict
  • Lone sniper
Lead figures

Demonstrator

SCLC member

SNCC members

CORE member

DDJ member

The March Against Fear was a major 1966 demonstration in the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Activist James Meredith launched the event on June 6, 1966, intending to make a solitary walk from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, a distance of 220 miles, to counter the continuing racism in the Mississippi Delta after passage of federal civil rights legislation in the previous two years and encourage African Americans to register to vote.[1] He invited only black men to join him and did not want it to be a large media event dominated by major organizations.

On the second day of his walk, Meredith was shot by James Aubrey Norvell, a white sniper, and was hospitalized.[2] Thornton Davi Johnson suggests that Meredith was a target for rituals of attack because he had made highly publicized challenges to Mississippi’s racial order, and his walk was framed as a confident repudiation of custom.[3]

Major civil rights organizations rallied, vowing to carry on the march through the Mississippi Delta. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) took part, with the Deacons for Defense and Justice from Louisiana providing armed protection. They struggled over tactics and goals, but also cooperated in community organizing and voter registration. They registered over 4,000 African Americans for voting in counties along the way.[4] Some people marched for a short time, others stayed through all the events; some national leaders took part in intermittent fashion, having commitments in other cities.

During the latter days of the march, Stokely Carmichael, the new chairman of SNCC, introduced the idea of Black Power to a broad audience. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. participated and continued to attract admiring crowds; his leadership and reputation brought numerous people out to see him, inspiring some to join the march. As the march headed south, the number of participants grew from . Finally, an estimated 15,000 mostly black marchers entered the capital of Jackson on June 26, making it the largest civil rights march in the history of the state. The march served as a catalyst for continued community organizing and political growth over the following years among African Americans in the state. They have maintained a high rate of voting and participation in politics since then.

History[edit]

Disappointed by the slow pace of change following passage of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965, James Meredith, noted for being the first African American to enroll at the University of Mississippi, decided to make a solo March Against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi, the state capital. He wanted to highlight continuing racial oppression in the Mississippi Delta, the heart of the black population in the state, during the 220-mile journey. Meredith wanted only black men on the march, and did not want a major media event featuring white participants.

On the second day of the march, a white sniper later identified as James Aubrey Norvell, stepped out of a wooded area next to the road shouted " I only want Meridith" and shot Meredith three times with a 16 gauge shotgun loaded with birdshot shells. Meredith was wounded and fell to the road. People rushed to get an ambulance and took him to the hospital. Because the shotgun used in the shooting was loaded with bird shot shells, Meredith was not severely injured. Norvell was later apprehended in Desoto county.

When they learned of the shooting, other Civil Rights leaders, including SCLC's Martin Luther King, Allen Johnson, SNCC's Stokely Carmichael, Cleveland Sellers and Floyd McKissick, and Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), as well as the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) and other civil rights organizations, decided to continue the march in Meredith's name. The NAACP were originally involved but Roy Wilkins pulled out on learning that the Deacons for Defense and Justice were going to be protecting the march.[5] Ordinary people, both black and white, came from across the South and all parts of the country to participate. The marchers slept on the ground outside or in large tents, and were fed mainly by local black communities. A press truck preceded them and the march was covered by national media. Along the way, members of the different civil rights groups argued and collaborated, struggling to achieve their sometimes overlapping and differing goals.

SNCC and MFDP worked to expand community organizing and achieve voter registration by reaching out to the black communities in the Delta. In most places, few blacks had registered to vote, still oppressed by fear and social and economic intimidation in the Jim Crow society. Along the way, the different civil rights groups struggled to reconcile their goals and to enhance the meaning of the march to promote black freedoms. It grew slowly and was embraced by black communities along the way, and by some sympathetic whites. Other whites expressed hostility, jeering and threatening, driving close to marchers. Although overt violence was generally limited, marchers from out of state were shocked and horrified by the virulence of hate expressed in some communities, particularly Philadelphia, where three civil rights workers had been murdered in 1963, and Canton.

Governor Paul Johnson, Jr. of Mississippi vowed to protect the marchers if they obeyed the law, but relations between the Highway State Police and marchers were sometimes tense. In some localities, mayors and local officials worked to keep relations peaceful. Local black communities and their churches provided food, housing and places of rest to marchers. They generally camped along the way, after returning to Memphis at the end of the first days.

On the early evening of Thursday, June 16, 1966, when the marchers arrived in Greenwood, Mississippi, and tried to set up camp at Stone Street Negro Elementary School, Carmichael was arrested for trespassing on public property. He was held for several hours by police before rejoining the marchers at a local park, where they had set up camp and were beginning a night-time rally. According to civil rights historian David Garrow, an angry Carmichael took the speaker's platform, delivering his famous "Black Power" speech, arguing that blacks had to build their own political and economic power to attain independence.[6]

King, who had flown to Chicago on Wednesday to help organize the Open Housing Movement marches in the city, returned to Mississippi on Friday. He found that some of the Civil Rights Movements' internal divisions between the old guard and new guard had gone public. Marchers called out SNCC's "Black Power" slogan as well as SCLC's "Freedom Now!"

In Canton, Mississippi, on June 23, the march was attacked and tear-gassed by the Mississippi State Police, who were joined by other police agencies, after marchers tried to erect tents on the grounds of McNeal Elementary School. This contradicted the governor's commitment to protect them. Leaders felt the violence took place because the president did not offer federal forces to protect them after the violence in Philadelphia. Before that, while relations were often tense, the police had mostly respected the marchers. Several marchers were wounded in this attack, one severely. Human Rights Medical Committee members conducted a house-to-house search that night looking for wounded marchers. The marchers sought refuge at Holy Child Jesus Catholic mission. There the Franciscan sisters extended their help and hospitality to the marchers, especially to the wounded.[7] The following night the marchers returned to McNeal School without incident as they did not attempt to erect their tents.

After a short hospital treatment, Meredith was released. He planned to rejoin the march, then withdrew for a time, as he had not intended it to be such a large media event. He rejoined the March on June 25, the day before it arrived in Jackson and walked in the front line next to Martin Luther King and other leaders.

The march stopped at Tougaloo College, a historically black college, before entering Jackson. Marchers could rest and get food and showers. Many more people joined the march at that point; national leaders returned to it from commitments in other parts of the country. The growing crowd was entertained by James Brown, Dick Gregory, and other major musicians and entertainment figures, including actor Marlon Brando, who spoke briefly.

The next day, June 26, marchers entered the city of Jackson from several different streams and were estimated to number 15,000 strong, the largest civil rights march in Mississippi history. They were warmly welcomed in the black neighborhoods and by some whites. However, many whites jeered and threatened the marchers; others simply stayed indoors. The Highway Police and other forces were out in number, as the city and state had vowed to protect the marchers after the attacks in Philadelphia and Canton. As a result of negotiations with authorities, the marchers gathered at the back of the state capitol to hear speeches, sing protest and celebration songs, and celebrate their achievements.

In total, the march expressed "both the depths of black grievances and the height of black possibilities," and it had to do with "oppressed people controlling their own destiny."[8]

Legacy and honors[edit]

  • The march "defied Jim Crow's culture of intimidation" by the very act of blacks asserting themselves through the different communities, celebrating their identities, and organizing.[8]
  • In the counties along the route, 4,077 African Americans registered to vote, many for the first time. Federal examiners registered 1,422 and county clerks did the rest.[8]
  • Later black veterans of the Mississippi Movement noted that the march had longstanding political and cultural effects, serving to galvanize community organizing among blacks in the state.[8]
  • In 1967 Jack R. Thornell won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Photography for his photograph of James Meredith struggling on the road in Mississippi after being shot.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1966 March Against Fear", Eyes on the Prize
  2. ^ Michael Lollar "Meredith march explored through Memphis author's powerful new book" The Commercial Appeal (Memphis), February 20, 2014
  3. ^ Davi Johnson, Thornton. "The Rhetoric Of Civil Rights Photographs: James Meredith's March Against Fear". Rhetoric & Public Affairs 16 (3): 457–487. 
  4. ^ Aram Goudsouzian, Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power and the Meredith March Against Fear (MacMillan, 2014), pp.246-247
  5. ^ Pearson, Hugh (1994). Shadow of the Panther. Perseus Books. ISBN 978-0-201-63278-1. 
  6. ^ David Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, William Morrow and Company (1986), p. 481.
  7. ^ Goudsouzian, Aram (2014). Down to the Crossroads. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. pp. 194–203. ISBN 978-0-374-19220-4. 
  8. ^ a b c d Aram Goudsouzian, Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear, New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2014, p. 246
  9. ^ "Photography", The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-13.

Books[edit]

  • Goudsouzian, Aram. Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. 2014.

External links[edit]

  • SNCC Digital Gateway: Meredith March Digital documentary website created by the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke University, telling the story of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee & grassroots organizing from the inside-out

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