6.05.2016

Sunday, June 5 - Sunday, June 26, 1966: March Against Fear

Thursday, June 1: New York
     James Meredith, whose admittance to the University of Mississippi touched off riots in 1962, will set out on a 220-mile "voter registration march" into Jackson, Miss., Sunday as an example to fear-ridden fellow Negroes. -- United Press International: @


▲ Sunday, June 5: Memphis, Tennessee
     Declaring war on fear, James Meredith strolled boldly toward Mississippi on a civil rights march Sunday and placed his faith with "a million Negroes." Meredith, the man who cracked segregation barriers at the University of Mississippi, left downtown Memphis with two hiking companions and plans to reach the Mississippi state capitol in Jackson in about two weeks. "There are two purposes for this," Meredith said, "first, we want to tear down the fear that grips Negroes in Mississippi, and we want to encourage the 450,000 Negroes remaining unregistered (as voters) in Mississippi." -- Associated Press: @. Photo by Bill Hudson.
* "James Meredith Starts His March to Jackson" (AP): @
* "Meredith Begins Mississippi Walk to Combat Fear" (New York Times): @





▲ Monday, June 6: South of Hernando, Mississippi
     Negro James Meredith was shot and wounded by a forest sniper Monday as he trudged down a lonely highway on the second day of his march through Mississippi. Doctors said Meredith would survive the shotgun ambush. Authorities said James Norvell, a short, pudgy white man from Memphis, admitted bushwhacking Meredith and was charged with assault and battery with intent to murder. -- United Press International: @. Photos by Jack Thornell.
* "Meredith Is Shot In Back On Walk Into Mississippi" (New York Times): @
* Life magazine (June 17): @
* Jet magazine (June 23): @
* "Capturing history: Shooting of James Meredith" (Chuck Cook, 2016): @
* "Jack Thornell: 'I was thinking my career is over. I will resign. Or be fired' " (The Independent, 2013): @
Note: The Associated Press initially reported that Meredith was killed. "The Meredith Story, June 6, 1966" (UPI): @
Note: Aubrey James Norvell later pleaded guilty and would serve a year and a half in prison.

Tuesday, June 7: Hernando
      Three major civil rights figures, shoved into single file by Mississippi highway patrolmen, resumed James H. Meredith's "march against fear" Tuesday. The march, picking up new members as it straggled along U.S. 51, started at the spot where shotgun blasts felled Meredith, 33, who cracked the racial barrier at the University of Mississippi in 1962. The leaders were Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Floyd McKissick, director of the Congress of Racial Equality; and Stokely Carmichael, new chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. -- Associated Press: @.
* "Negroes Pledge Massive March" (AP): @
* "Leaders Join for Miss. March" (The Southern Courier, June 11-12): @


▲ Thursday, June 9: Near Como
     A little boy tootles "Dixie" on a clarinet and a girl beside him waves a Confederate flag as marchers led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. approach along the shoulder of U.S. 51 near Como, Mississippi. -- Photo and caption by Associated Press.


▲ Saturday, June 11: Batesville
     El Fondren, resident of Batesville, Miss., who claims to be 106 years old, is hoisted to the shoulders of a crowd of Negroes and whites in Batesville today after he registered to vote for the first time. He registered as about 300 marchers in the Memphis-to-Jackson trek stopped for a brief demonstration before going on. -- Photo by Bob Fitch. Caption by Associated Press.
* "Marchers 'Against Fear' Stage Registration Rally" (AP): @
* "Picturing Freedom" (Aram Goudsouzian, 2016): @
* News footage: @


▲ Tuesday, June 14-Wednesday, June 15: Grenada
     The Mississippi marchers jubilantly moved toward the lush cotton country Wednesday, leaving hundreds of newly registered Negro voters behind and courthouse restrooms that no longer differentiate between white and Negro. They also may have picked up some poison ivy. -- Associated Press: @. Photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King speaking at Grenada's Jefferson Davis memorial by Charmian Reading.
* "Rain Falls to Dampen Ardor of Civil Righters" (AP): @
* "Marchers Spend Night At Grenada" (AP): @
* "March Doubles Voter Registration Along Route Through Mississippi" (The Southern Courier, June 18-19): @ 
Note: The march led to a months-long civil rights campaign in Grenada that eventually included the desegregation of city schools.
* "Grenada Mississippi, 1966: Chronology of a Movement" (Bruce Hartford, Civil Rights Movement Veterans): @
* "The Civil Rights Documentation Project: The Grenada Movement" (University of Southern Mississippi): @
* "Making a stand in Grenada" (Alan Bean, Friends of Justice): @
* "Return to Grenada" (Pete Eikenberry, Federal Bar Council Quarterly): @




▲  Thursday, June 16: Greenwood
     "We want black power! We want black power!" the 1,000 Negroes chanted it again and again. On the back of a truck, facing them on a lighted baseball field Thursday night, stood Stokely Carmichael, head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He and two others in the Mississippi march had just come from seven hours in jail. "Everybody owns our neighborhood except us," Carmichael roared. "We outnumber the whites in this county; we want black power. That's what we want. Black power!" Carmichael's speech climaxed the most troubled day of the march since James H. Meredith, the first Negro known to have graduated from the University of Mississippi, was shot and wounded June 6. -- Associated Press: @. Photos of Carmichael's arrest (his back is to camera) and speech by Bob Fitch.
* Carmichael on CBS' "Face the Nation" (June 19, 1966): @
* " 'Guns, Bullets Can't Stop Us,' King Tells Miss. Negroes" (Jet magazine, June 30): @ 
* "March's Leaders Argue, Non-Violence or Arms?" (The Southern Courier, June 25-26): @
* "Black Power - White Backlash" (CBS, September 27, 1966): @
* "The First 'Black Power' flyer?" (Eric Etheridge, Breach of Peace): @
* Interview with David Dawley (Washington University, 1989): @
* "The Basis of Black Power" (SNCC, 1966): @ 
* Carmichael's October 29 speech at U.C. Berkeley (American Rhetoric): @
* "Stokely Carmichael, 'Black Power' " (Kalen M.A. Churcher, Niagara University): @
* "Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)": (Stokely Carmichael and Michael Thelwell, 2003): @
* "Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America" (Peniel E. Joseph, 2007): @
* "Stokely Carmichael, Black Power and the Age of Political Repression: Why Did America's Ruling Elites Declare War on the Black Movement?" (Abayomi Azikiwe, Centre for Research on Globalization, 2016): @ 


▲  Tuesday, June 21: Philadelphia
     A civil rights leader said Tuesday night his group traded a volley of bullets with unknown assailants outside their headquarters in a gun battle he called a "siege." Earlier, a memorial march led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of three slain civil rights workers erupted in a stone throwing, fist swinging battle. -- Milwaukee Sentinel: @
-- Photo by Associated Press. Caption reads: Dr. Martin Luther King, left, confronts Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price at the County Jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi on June 21, 1966 as Dr. King and other African American leaders arrived to post bond for jailed Rev. Clint Collier, who was arrested on trafic charges. The encounter came after a violence-marked memorial march in Philadelphia which Dr. King led in memory of three slain civil rights workers.
* "Neighborhood Sealed Off in Mississippi" (AP): @
Note: In October 1967, Price would be convicted for his role in the 1964 deaths of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner. He would serve four years in federal prison.


▲ Thursday, June 23: Canton
     Guns at the ready, Mississippi state troopers move in Thursday on freedom marchers, already scrambling away from tear gas fumes in a schoolyard in Canton, Miss. The troopers tossed the tear gas canisters among the 2,000 marchers as they set up a sleeping tent in the schoolyard in defiance of an order by town authorities forbidding them to use the grounds. -- Photo by Charles Kelly. Caption by United Press International.
* "Marchers Gassed" (AP): @
* "Tear Gas Routs Dixie Marchers" (Milwaukee Journal): @

Friday-Saturday, June 24-25: Tougaloo and Canton
     Chilled by dissension and James H. Meredith's coolness, the Mississippi march to promote Negro voter registration stood at the last lap today. Meredith arrived in Tougaloo on Friday night after ignoring a rally in Canton, 16 miles to the north, where he was to receive a hero's ovation. ... Disappointed when he found that the march had proceeded from Canton to Tougaloo before his arrival, Meredith said he tentatively planned to march the 16 miles on his own today. -- Associated Press: @




▲ Sunday, June 26: Jackson
     The long and turbulent Mississippi march has ended with James H. Meredith -- who started it as a "journey against fear" -- saying the "governor and every other person is going to pay attention to the Negro. The system of white supremacy will reign no longer," Meredith told a heavily guarded rally behind the imposing State Capitol Building Sunday. Some 16,000 persons, most of them Negroes, flowed through Jackson streets to jam into a portion of the Capitol grounds and adjacent areas. -- Associated Press: @Photos of James Meredith and crowd by Bob Fitch.
* "Mississippi March Ends With Massive Rally in Jackson" (St. Petersburg Times): @
* News footage of Meredith speaking: @
* "Civil Rights Groups to Push Work in Areas March Passed Through" (The Southern Courier, July 2-3): @
* "Divided On Tactics, Leaders Agree March A Success" (Jet magazine, July 14): @
jamesmeredith1962.blogspot.com: @

Resources

-- Summaries
* PBS: @
* University of North Carolina: @
* Jo Freeman: @
* Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation (see "March Against Fear" section): @

-- Books
* "Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference" (David J. Garrow, 1986): @ 
* "Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi" (John Dittmer, 1994): @
* "Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI" (1998): @
* "Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama's Black Belt" (Hasan Kwame Jeffries, 2010): @
* "James Meredith: Warrior and the America That Created Him" (Meredith Coleman McGee, 2013): @
* "Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear" (Aram Goudsouzian, 2014): @
* "At the Crossroads of Fear and Freedom: The Fight for Social and Educational Justice" (Robert L. Green, 2015): @

-- Photos
* Bob Fitch: @
* Jim Lucas: @
* Jim Peppler: @
* John F. Phillips: @
* Flip Schulke: @
* Getty Images: @
* Walter P. Reuther Library: @

-- Other
* March map (Facts on File): @
* The Southern Courier archives: @ 

2 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing the historic photos and facts

    ReplyDelete
  2. All thanks to you for your book (and for finding the blog post).

    ReplyDelete

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