James Howard Meredith was born on June 25, 1933, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, and raised on his family’s eighty-four-acre farm in Attala County. After graduation from Gibbs High in St. Petersburg, Florida in June of 1951, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 to 1960, including a three-year tour of duty at Tackikawa Airforce Base in Japan. Read full bio.
Mr. Harry Belafonte
Award-winning Harry Belafonte is as well known for his social activism and pursuit of social justice as he is for his acting and musical talent. His album Calypso made him the first artist in history to sell more than one million LPs. He won a Tony award for his Broadway debut in “John Murray Anderson Almanac” and an Emmy for “An Evening with Belafonte,” in which he was also the first black producer in television. He was also awarded the National Medal for the Arts by President Clinton. Read full bio.
John Michael Doar
As a young attorney working within the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, John Doar was in downtown Jackson in June, 1963 to prevent a riot following the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Doar placed himself between angry black youths and a double line of heavily armed, police ready to move in with clubs and guns. Sidestepping stones and bottles he moved along Farrish Street urging the mob to put down their weapons. “My name is John Doar, D-O-A-R,” he shouted. “I’m from the Justice Department, and anybody around here knows I stand for what is right.” Read full bio.