The Time Between James Meredith and Barack Obama at the University of Mississippi! by eProf2

It was on October 1, 1962, that the University of Mississippi was in the national news for days, weeks, and months to come as the academic year on campus was disrupted over and over again when a black man, James Meredith, was admitted to the university to start his college education. A simple act. The man was a tax paying citizen of Mississippi, intelligent enough to pass all of the entrance requirements, and ready to pursue his education. Yet, thousands, if not millions of people were dead-set against him forty-six years ago today.

Two people died that day, seventy-five more were injured, the governor of Mississippi sent the state national guard to prevent his admission, the Kennedy administration quickly nationalized the guard in order to protect Mr. Meredith and to escort him to his classes. Troops were stationed on the campus to separate the previously all-white student body from the one black man enrolled in school. Huge groups of segregationists tried to physically remove Mr. Meredith from the campus. Mr. Meredith had few friends to support him in an almost entirely hostile situation from students, faculty, staff, all the way to the governor’s office. White segregationists were arrested carrying pipe bombs, billy clubs, and shotguns. Other southern states were also experiencing race riots over black student admissions to premier state universities from Tennessee to Alabama to Georgia.

Fast forward to September 26, 2008. Another black man came to the University of Mississippi not to enroll as a student but to debate for the office of president of the United States. There was no talk of insurrection, no talk of boycotting, no riots, no federal troops, no governor standing in the doorway to prevent Barack Obama from entering the campus in his quest for the highest office in the nation. The seats in the auditorium were filled with people of all races and blacks were not relegated to sit in the balcony but could sit were ever there was an empty seat.

Little was made of this transformation in the media last Friday or in the days before or after the debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. I mostly found laudatory articles in the local newspapers in Oxford and from the campus press. There were more than a few references to the new, positive image of the university having had to live with highly negative images of the events of 1962 for more than four decades.

Are race relations perfect in Mississippi today? No! Are race relations in the United States perfect today? Not hardly! Race relations are, however, a whole lot better today, with a long road ahead to make them even better.

Yet, it is undeniable that much progress has been made between the races since 1962 when a black man arrived on the campus of the University of Mississippi to take classes and in 2008 when a black man arrived on campus to stake his claim for the presidency of the United States!

(Also posted at eProf2)



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100 responses to “The Time Between James Meredith and Barack Obama at the University of Mississippi! by eProf2

  1. Thanks for today’s thread eProf, I like many others I’m sure feel quite moved and fortunate to be able to live through this time in our nation’s history. Every once in a while we get to witness something that moves us closer to a “barrier” free society, this is one of those times, and I intend to savor it, and feel hopeful at what the election of a black man will do for us as a people and a nation.

  2. chefsheila

    Yes Eprof,

    I was thinking the same thing. Thanks for posting it. Too bad that this could not have been highlighted, because Obama’s presense was definitely a milestone for our country. What an awesome to milestone to site for all those that were alive when the first occured.

  3. dog's eye view

    Barack Obama appearing as Democratic nominee at the University of Mississippi is one of those moments that made my heart happier and my spirit soar. The distance traveled, as demonstrated on that debate stage.

    Great blogpost, eprof2!

  4. chefsheila

    The good thing about this election’s racial dust up? it ugly menace has be seen again. It is alive, but not as strong as before.

    However, after having witnessed prejudice in its ugly state for two years during this election cycle, Our generation need to step asside.

    We as parents have done a great job on our children, because they are the wons who will have won the battle after we are gone. I think they will do well.

  5. horsedooty

    Nice post eProf2. I was in the 11th grade of a segregated school in Fort Worth, TX. That school now is desegregated but is now mostly a Black school with a few Latinos scattered there. White flight took place as the neighborhood started to turn over. I now live in a racially diverse neighborhood and my kids went to a desegregated school. They were in the minority in high school. Appropo of nothing, the high school I graduated from has been placed on the list here in Tx called Academic Unsatisfactory for the last 2 or 3 years.

  6. Raleigh, N.C. – Barack Obama has expanded his lead nine points over the last three
    weeks in Michigan, according to the newest survey from Public Policy Polling. He now
    leads John McCain 51-41 in the state after holding just a 47-46 advantage immediately
    after the Republican convention.

    Another factor helping to drive Obama’s improved standing in the state is Sarah Palin’s
    rapidly declining popularity. Immediately after the GOP convention 45% of Michigan
    voters said her selection made them more likely to vote for John McCain, compared to
    just 35% who said it made them less likely to do so. Since then there’s been a 14 point
    drop in her net favorability, with 43% now saying her selection makes them less likely to
    vote Republican and only 39% saying it makes them more likely to do so.

  7. chefsheila

    I love these polls, But I myself will be prudent until the after the next presidential debate to see where we settle.

    The poll is going to swing again after this Vice presidential debate. Not to say we aren’t going to get the state, but NC is volitile. ;0o

    These naturally born and bread republicans are going to shoot back and forth the poll border acouple of times before the end….

    BUT HOT DAMN!! It sure is nice to see that game changing statistic!

  8. chefsheila

    And I might add Brian, Very very relevent to the Spirit of Eprof’s Piece today.

  9. chefsheila

    Brian thats sound reasoning. Plus, the transition for the Obama Adminstration and the Military with mainly republican swayed Upper Echelon would make smooth.
    The highly important Deep trust that should be for any president is not there at present. Because the military has had 30 years of republican culture brain wash.

    Clinton felt this when he was in. The Military just tolerated him. Not a few higher ranked were put out of the military because of remarks they made that were not complimentary towards him.

    Gates has been a good SECDEF and sucess on both fronts Iraq/Iran and loyalty for the CINC would be a blessing.

  10. dog's eye view

    I think it would be a great idea to have Gates carry over; makes a lot of sense. He’s up to speed and we are at war in two countries. He’s made sound decisions to date. Continuity and continued competence.

    Gates stands out among Bush cabinet members, on many fronts. And no one save Paulson got a harder task.

  11. chefsheila

    AWESOME ADD. When have you ever seen a good ole boy from the south do a radio add for a democrat?

    New Obama Ad In South Stars Bluegrass Legend Saying Obama Is “A Good Man”

  12. chefsheila

    Hilarious Reader Post from TPM….Remind you guys of the type cast?


    OMG!!!! RU excited for Sarah Palin’s debate? I SOOOO AM!!!! GOOOOO SARAH!!! She’s going to kick that Biden dude’s WRINKLY OLD ASS!!! LOL!!! He totally looks like Drako Malfoy’s evil dad in Harry Potter.

  13. chefsheila

    Palin To Go On Attack Against Biden On … Foreign Policy?
    By Greg Sargent – October 2, 2008, 2:02PM
    Be afraid. Be very, very afraid:

    Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight’s debate, hitting Joe Biden for what she will call his foreign policy blunders and penchant for adopting liberal positions on taxes and other issues, according to campaign officials involved in prepping her for tonight’s showdown.
    Palin attacking Biden, the longtime chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a well-known figure in world capitals, on foreign policy?

    That should be interesting. Maybe she can attack over Obama’s suggestion that he’d chase terrorists into Pakistan or tout the successes of the Bush Doctrine…well, maybe those aren’t such hot ideas, come to think of it.

    Here’s a thought. Maybe Palin can hit Biden with the charge that he has never run a state where spy-planes take off in the direction of Russia

  14. Well put, eprof. Propers from a Mississippi boy, though i went to U of Southern Mississippi, not Ole Miss.

  15. Love the Ralph Stanley ad Sheila

  16. Chef Sheila

    Oh Steve, Being a bit of a romantic, Ralph Stanley brings back great memories of my Daddy and his penchant for bluegrass. Ralph Stanley was a required taste for me, but now he is well loved by me.

    I was duly impressed by his turn toward Obama. Its amazing and will cause many people to take a second look.

  17. Chef Sheila

    …..LOL I guess you could “Ralph was a required taste in my house. However, I ment to say , “Aquired” 😳

  18. chefsheila

    hmm….sometimes I have to update my profile by relaunching it so my face shows…..

  19. chefsheila

    Small Victories!!

    The Politico reports that John McCain’s electoral map is getting smaller:

    John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.

    McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.

  20. chefsheila

    Well….tag your it, whoever is out there, my lunch is through and its time to go shopping.

    ta ta, cheerio and all that rot!

  21. I am just sad that Ralph Stanley is in on that whole secret Muslim deal with Obama.

  22. dnd

    McCain at a female only town hall meeting in Denver right now. Same ‘ol stump speech.

  23. dnd

    Outstanding post. I figured I’d see a minority or a woman president at some point in my life, I just didn’t think it’d be this soon (I hope!).

  24. Chef Sheila

    So Brian,

    Did you hear anything about an updated poll for Alaska? Inquiring minds would like to know if there is any movement at all.

  25. chefsheila

    I’d like to just state that since she is worth 1.2 million dollars, Palin is not Joe Six Pack either.

  26. chefsheila

    Just commented for you. 🙂

  27. dnd

    The Palin/Couric interviews have gone so badly, I’m wondering if it’s a head fake. Set the bar so low for Palin that if she says anything at all coherent during the debate, she’ll look brilliant.

  28. dnd I think she really has to prove she’s up for the job, I don’t think she is,and therefore will fail tonight.

  29. chefsheila

    I think so too dnd. She is a very smart women in her state run debates. I have no doubt that she is going to do well tonight.

    BUT. She’s still the running mate of a proven War Monger and a very weak economist.

  30. dnd

    I think Palin is a natural politico. In the Tom Delay mode. But as far as actually knowing anything about governance and issues, her track record is not good.

  31. chefsheila

    She doesn’t have to know anything about governance to look good in a debate and she certainly isn’t a little panty waste. The republicans don’t want someone who knows, from everything I have seen, they want a rock start and for some reason, they feel that someone with “Bush League” mentality is OK with them. You’d think 8 years was enough.

  32. A lot will have to do with the type of questions Gwen asks.

  33. Hey there…..peeps 🙂

    EProf, loved your post.

    Besides the relevance to the election and race relations, it really struck me as to the amount of courage required from those directly involved. And I don’t mean “courage” , like they often say about sports figures, but real life-changing courage. It’s inspiring to look at history a see , what seems to be lost in todays society..that honest heartfelt courage from the gut for daily inequities, no matter how large or how small.

    I am hopeful it’s making a comeback. 😀


  34. going to get my bear on…..brb

  35. chefsheila

    Arrugala Middle class? 😕

  36. arrugala my ass, Palin probably doesn’t even know what it is. but they sure are tipping their hand as to how Sarah is going to play this tonight. In other words they couldn’t get her to absorb anything during the debate drillings.

  37. chefsheila

    I just have to state again…….this is just unbelievable…..I’ll believe it in another week….

    Florida: McCain vs. Obama

  38. Sheila I think what’s happening is that Obama is boxing McCain into Ohio and Florida. McCain has to win in those two states or it’s over for him before the polls close in the West. Also since McCain and Palin are attached at the hip it’s becoming increasingly hard for them to cover any turf, and they have no surrogates to speak of. The are being crushed before our eyes!

  39. fyi, the only ads I see here are Obama…the good one ( i like it) where he just speaks……

    I don’t watch any daytime tv…, nbc, cbs, maybe thats where McCain is advertising.

  40. dnd

    Isn’t it curious that what was once Italian peasant food is now considered elitist?

  41. could be worse dnd, could be dandelions!

  42. chefsheila

    dnd, It should be seen as a positive characterization. Its peppery and very high in Iron.

    Silly billys 🙂

  43. chefsheila

    Dandelions are totally a wast of time to eat. They are not very flavorful.

  44. Have you guy seen this…

    Preston Fosback and his mother, Kristine, were shocked when their Obama sign was stolen one night in April from the front yard of their Portland, Ore., home.

    When they put up another one nine days ago, that, too, was swiped within hours. Undeterred, they made their own sign and put it up the next day.

  45. I’ve got news for you. The GOP bloggers I am reading are starting to give up on McCain in Ohio. They are getting killed in early voting in places like Hamilton County. they have NOTHING on the ground there.

  46. Go Ohio ….yeah….I early voted, and have offered to drive anyone downtown that can’t get there on their own……(they have to support Obama or I don’t drive ’em.)

    Steve – has you Cleveland buddy voted?

  47. chefsheila

    Ohoh, Dirty Tricksters in Florida again?

  48. dnd

    I won’t eat the dandelions in my yard, but I once had some cultivated dandelions that I thought they were pretty good.

    I love arugula, raddiccho, cardoon, broccoli raab, endive, etc. And I won’t bother with parsley unless it’s the Italian flat leaved parsley.

  49. dnd

    I don’t really understand why the McCain campaign is playing solely to the base and not moving to the center to get the indies. Doesn’t seem to make much sense given the war, the economy and of course, W.

  50. I can tell you the regular republicans do not part with their money.

  51. That chat room is open:

    For “nick” use whatever nickname you like, no password is necessary, if your first choice is not available just try something else.

    You can change the chat room look by clicking on the down arrow next to options on the lower right hand side of the chat box, and then placing your cursor on the word theme.

  52. chefsheila

    Have fun. Ya’ll remember me as I cook….speaking of that. Its time to go make the Donuts Sigh………>>>>>:)

  53. dnd

    “Senator O’Biden”? This is just too painful to watch. Good thing the Dodgers and Cubs are playing tonight.

  54. chefsheila

    Did she say that?

  55. dnd

    Yup. Biden smiled but didn’t say anything. She really needs to stick to talking points or it’s gonna turn into a Katie Couric interview.

  56. dnd

    “And Malaki and Talibani also are working with us.” Huh?

  57. chefsheila

    ohhhhh…..I get it. You know? She sounds great as a first term Governor. But she is not ready for prime time.

    Running back to the dinner……>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  58. dnd

    If Colorado’s first term governor sounded like that, I’d be really pissed.

  59. dnd

    Can we get a count of how many times Palin said “maverick” tonight?

  60. too many, god I hate her voice!

  61. I hate her voice more 😛

    Sleep tight angels, Obama is going to win Ohio!

  62. dog's eye view

    Jon Stewart –” the huge debate just ended about half an hour ago between Sarah Palin and Joe — who cares? Joe Piscopo? Joe Mother?

    Remember: since Sarah was picked a month ago she’s been doing nothing but preparing for this debate.

    Footage of Bronson Pinchot doing circus acrobatics after a month’s training.

    Stewart: If Bronson Pinchot can do that after a month, Sarah Palin is going to do just fine.”

  63. A CBS News instant poll of Americans who watched the debate also showed Biden to be the winner by a margin of 46-21 percent. About one-third thought the debate to be a draw.

  64. chefsheila

    Well….I’m watching finally. And God Bless her she sounds like George W Bush to me. .

  65. she gives good talking points, nothing more.

  66. chefsheila

    Well….those that make the point are wrong. Biden has won this outright on polocy points and demeaner. He held his tongue well and just kind of giggled when she attacked him.

    Palin sounds like just what she says she is. A hocky mom with no interest in the us government. I wonder if she has even watched CPSAN at the very least.

  67. chefsheila

    Nuculer…….. 🙂

  68. watched the Veep debate this mroning early with my wife. I thought Biden did fine. Her expectations were very low….all she had to do was make complete sentences. Nothing’s changed and the Presidential Debate is Tuesday. Off to work today….

  69. chefsheila

    oh man Can’t Sleep!!!! oh well, where’s the coffee and Steve hope your feeling better and I really hope your school day is rewarding.

    Now off to drink a cup of the elixor of my life….

  70. chefsheila

    Here’s my favorite line for the debate;

    “Here’s a shout out to Gladise Hill elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate.”

    I mean if she had been ready and seasoned for the debate and then made that statement, It would have beeen all over.

    We will be seeing This woman more and more in the next few years. She is a rising star in the Republican Party if she play’s her cards right.

  71. chefsheila

    AND…..I don’t believe the Press really get it. Biden won the debate because first he knows his stuff. He’s a wonderful conveyer of the right information because he has a real love and passion for his country.

    The populous may not understand all he said last night. But, they understodd his calming ways and they want to confidence in their leaders now……especially now.

    Confidence in someone who can REALLY take care of them instead of “raping them” is what they really want.

    Sarah Palin and John McCain are not convincing anyone at this point.

  72. chefsheila

    My bank just bought Wachovia……I hope they didn’t purchase a lemon. 😕 Wells Fargo has been a great bank. I hope this doesn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

  73. chefsheila

    Economy Lost 159,000 Jobs in September

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 5 minutes ago

    Adding to signs of slowdown, the decline in nonfarm employment was the steepest in five years. The unemployment rate held steady as the labor pool shrank.

  74. dnd

    Well shucks and doggonit, good ol’ Sarah was about as folksy as Grandpa Walton. I think we saw last night the Sarah we’ll see for the rest of the campaign: phony folksiness, well scripted sound bites, and if she doesn’t like the question, she’ll answer a question she’s been prepared for. Had she done that with Couric she wouldn’t have looked like such a clueless ditz. But it did lower the bar for her going into the debate.

  75. chefsheila

    Some are saying that This whole protection of Palin was a ploy, but I don’t think so dnd. She has had a huge plate of information to swallow before she can even play with the big boys.

    BTW, Biden was the perfect person to put opposute of Palin. He is genuine and as “Joe Sixpack” as she is.

  76. dnd

    I wonder what all the pundits who said Gwen Ifill would favor Obama are saying today? Are they “waving the white flag of surrender?”

  77. dnd

    Meant to say favor Biden because she’s in the tank for Obama.

  78. chefsheila

    Well…this story doesn’t have legs. Biden and Palin will again be off the headlines by the end of tonight, if not earlier.

  79. horsedooty

    saw that CNN had the debate Biden 51%-Palin 36%.

  80. chefsheila

    Hey guys, Here is a nice read from an interview that Obama gave in Detroit.

    Obama wrestles with what-ifs
    Wars, economy only some of daunting problems ahead for winner, he says

  81. dog's eye view

    The New Yorker mag endorses Obama. In the very same issue that has cover with Sarah P looking out her window at Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Russia!

    Here’s the endorsement:

    And NYer has a political article on how Obama might approach rural Viriginia — have not read it yet, but see Mudcat Saunders is mentioned.

    Posting the “Virginia” story because isn’t it in keeping with eprof’s theme?

    46 years ago: the National Guard must escort a black student to a college in a southern state.

    Today: a black presidential nominee is campaigning to win the votes of southerners, easterners, westerners, islanders, America.

  82. dog's eye view

    Sturgeone had a great comment on Trail Mix.

    “Rob Bartlett as Don Corleone on Palin:

    The wheel is spinning but the hamster is dead.”

  83. dnd

    Hey Shelia,
    What do ya think of McCain pulling out of Michigan?

  84. dog's eye view

    PS: If you are thinking “Rob who?” — that’s Imus’s sidekick who does many of the characters. I miss the TV broadcast; he was usually very funny.

  85. chefsheila

    dnd……I was surprised that he did, but not surprised that Michigan is going for Obama.

    McCain pulled out too early. Tactically, He should have been able to wait this out to the second debate.

    BUT, it clearly shows that he is running out of money and there’s nothing in sight. A clear indication of how his support has taken a nose dive.

  86. The last week and-a-half has brought plenty of discouraging news from around the nation for John McCain’s Presidential campaign and the latest polling from New Hampshire isn’t going to change that pattern. Barack Obama now enjoys a ten point lead in the Granite State.

  87. dog's eye view

    Sheila: were you up that early with insomnia? I always have trouble with sleep patterns during the change of seasons, fall and spring. Don’t know why….

  88. chefsheila

    No luckily not that. Just had a lot on my mind. This too shall pass. I figure it this way. As long as I am still thinking and feeling, life is worth living.

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