Essay about The Battle of Ole Miss

1600 WordsDec 23, 20127 Pages
SACRAMENTO CITY COLLEGE THE BATTLE OF OLE MISS AS IT RELATES TO THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE AND AMERICAN HISTORY A TERM PAPER SUBMITTED TO PROFESSOR K.R.V. HENINGBURG DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY BY MONA SALIMI SACRAMENTO, CA 19 APRIL 2010 James Meredith’s successful campaign to gain admission to the Univeristy of Mississippi, ‘Ole Miss’, and desegregate education in the state most resistant to integration of educational institutions, has become a crucial episode in civil rights history. Ole Miss transformed Mississippi politics and contributed to a cultural shift in the region, as well as invigorated local civil rights activists and those in neighboring states 1. The historic showdown between James Meredith and the…show more content…
because his views were aligned with that of most whites, and Clyde Kennard, who hoped that school officials would be moved by his service in the military, proved to Meredith that “to hope that white Mississippians would voluntarily desegregate their schools...was wishful thinking”. In 1956 Meredith read about Eisenhower’s decision to send federal troops to Little Rock Arkansas to enforce the Brown decision. This news made him confident in his existing belief that if he wanted to be admitted to Ole Miss he would need backing from the federal government.6 The backing of Meredith by the Kennedy Administration adds an interesting dimension to the narrative of Ole Miss. Involvement of federal politics in black issues has historically been dependent on whether it is in the interest of the federal government. During Reconstruction, for example, progressive reforms initiated by the Republican Party were motivated by the necessity of having a politically loyal contingent of voters in Southern, democrat-dominated states.7 With the start of the Cold War Washington D.C.’s interest in the lives and desires of African-Americans is renewed as it struggles to overcome its racist image in recently liberated former-colonies overseas in Africa and Asia8. Although it is irrelevant to the discussion of the events that transpired at the university and to race relations in Mississippi, the foreign policy responsible for the involvement of the federal government
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