Genma Speaks

Entrepreneur/ Writer/ Radio-Host

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ole Miss' James Meredith on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Audio of interview can be found here.
Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and volunteers who lead by example. With extraordinary acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations, leaders, and volunteers  embody, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
James Meredith on Graduation Day at Ole Miss
On Saturday, October 25, 2014 tune in to hear the fourth interview that focuses on the newly released book, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss. Today's show will feature a conversation with decorated Air Force Veteran and the first Black to integrate Ole Miss in 1962, James Meredith. Listen to Mr. Meredith share his views on race, politics (then and now), and how the Ole Miss and Mississippi State University football teams are now game changers in the discussion of race relations not only in the South but around the world.

Hear Mr. Meredith's views on how sports can bring solutions to race relations and why he believes Ole Miss and Mississippi State University performances on the football field during the last three weeks have forever changed the state of Mississippi.

The foreword of Strong Inside is a passage from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" t:
  “One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer.”

 Listen to the similarities between Vanderbilt's Perry Wallace, the first Black to play in the Southeastern Conference, lonely journey as a pioneer and James Meredith's historic integration of Ole Miss. You will also hear the differences in their approaches to the jeering mobs that came with their heroism and the mental stress of attending school daily under such riveting conditions.

This interview promises to empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your BEST life.Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST

 More About James Meredith:

   “The traditional practice in Mississippi has been to eliminate potential troublemakers before they have a chance to cause trouble. Far more Negroes have been lynched for having a bad or wrong attitude (by Mississippi ‘White Supremacy’ standards) than for committing a particular crime. Whenever a Negro questioned the status quo in Mississippi, he just simply disappeared.”

From James Meredith’s book, Three Years in Mississippi

Author is only one of many hats worn by the enigmatic James Meredith. Born June 25, 1933, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Meredith is best known as the first African-American student of the University of Mississippi. Meredith served in the Air Force from 1951 to 1960, including a tour of duty in Japan. He then attended Jackson State College for two years. In the fall of 1962 Meredith risked his life when he successfully applied the laws of integration and became the first black student at the University of Mississippi, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement which sparked riots on the Oxford campus that left two people dead. 
In 1966 he recounted the experience in his first publication, Three Years in Mississippi. Of that book, a reviewer for Newsweek wrote, “Seldom is a piece of violent history so dispassionately dissected by one of its participants as it has been by James Meredith in this three-years-later study of his breakthrough at the University of Mississippi. Part report and part legal brief, part manifesto, part tract, it is a valuable and fascinating account.” 

Shortly after the publication of Three Years in Mississippi, Meredith conceived and organized the “Walk Against Fear,” a march from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi, in a bold and selfless repudiation of the physical violence faced by African-Americans for exercising their voting rights. Meredith was shot on the march, and when he was physically able to resume the march, he did so, joined this time by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other prominent civil rights leaders of the day.
In 1968 Meredith received a LL.B. from Columbia University. Meredith’s career has included a run for a congressional seat in 1972 and, in perhaps his most controversial move yet, a stint on the staff of arch-conservative Senator Jesse Helms beginning in 1989. Meredith’s most recent publication is a historical work: Mississippi: A Volume of Eleven Books was published in 1995. 

On March 21, 1997, James Meredith presented his papers to the University of Mississippi where they are maintained by the Special Collections branch of the J.D. Williams Library

Credit: University of Mississippi

Photo Credits: University of Mississippi, Vanderbilt University

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