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Legacies of the Battles of Ole Miss: The Meredith Crisis and the 1965 Southern Literary Festival

Posted on: September 27th, 2012 by benita

by Robert Hamblin

It’s always a useful exercise for any individual to examine strongly held beliefs to seek to understand how he came to hold them.  And for some of us it’s equally important to attempt to record this process of self-discovery in writing.  That’s what I seek to do in this essay with regard to my retrospective impressions of two events from my graduate school days at Ole Miss: the riot that accompanied the admission of James Meredith to the university in 1962 and the near-riot that occurred when a biracial delegation from Tougaloo College attended the Southern Literary Festival at Ole Miss in 1965.

In September 1962 I enrolled as a first-year graduate student at the University of Mississippi.  As coincidence would have it, that was also the month and year that James Meredith succeeded in becoming the first African-American student in the school’s history.  Meredith, a 29-year-old Air Force veteran who had completed three years of college, had first sought admission to Ole Miss in January 1961, but was denied entrance, as the U.S. Court of Appeals later concluded, “solely because he was a Negro.”  Only after an eighteen-month court battle which led to contempt citations against a number of state officials and university administrators was Meredith allowed to enroll at Ole Miss. (more…)

Myrlie Evers-Williams Keynote Speaker at 50 Years of Integration Event

Posted on: March 6th, 2012 by benita

Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers, opened the University’s “50 Year’s of Integration” events recently by delivering a keynote address at Fulton Chapel. Produced by Mary Stanton.

Evers-Williams Returns to UM Friday for ‘Day of Dialogue’

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by benita

Myrlie Evers-Williams will speak at the university on March 2 at 4 p.m. in Fulton Chapel. The event is sponsored by the Subcommittee on the Civil Rights Movement, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

OXFORD, Miss. – Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, returns to the University of Mississippi this weekend (March 2-4) to highlight the Ole Miss Alumni Association’s Black Alumni and Family Reunion.

Evers-Williams will give a lecture at 4 p.m. Friday in Fulton Chapel as part of the university’s “Day of Dialogue,” which commemorates 50 years of integration at Ole Miss.

Charles K. Ross, chair of UM’s civil rights movement subcommittee, said he is extremely pleased to have Evers-Williams back on campus.

“The state of Mississippi owes her a tremendous debt in terms of the sacrifice she and her husband made, forever changing the state,” said Ross, director of the African American studies program and associate professor of African American studies and history. “I encourage everyone to come out and hear this great leader.”

Julian Gilner, assistant director of the Ole Miss Alumni Association and organizer of the Black Alumni and Family Reunion, agreed. “We are honored to have such a distinguished slate of speakers and activities for this Black Alumni Reunion, which falls on such a significant anniversary in Ole Miss history,” he said.

Gilner also serves on the university’s civil rights subcommittee, which has organized “Opening the Closed Society: 50 Years of Integration,” the yearlong celebration of diversity at UM. Various panels, lectures, concerts and other activities mark the celebration, which continues through October.


2012 Black History Month Concert Celebrating 50 Years of Integration

Posted on: February 23rd, 2012 by benita

2012 Black History Month Concert Celebrating 50 Years of Integration from UM Media Documentary Projects on Vimeo.

Ole Miss African Drum-Dance Ensemble (OMADDE) & Friends: UMISSO, The Mississippians, Carlene Waugh, Fred Dunlap, Jonathan White, Choral Octet, Guelel Kumba.

George Worlasi Kwasi Dor, Director of OMADDE and Coordinator.

Nutt Auditorium, Music Building, University of Mississippi. Thursday, February 23, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

Exhibit Uses Sounds and Sights to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of University’s Integration

Posted on: February 22nd, 2012 by benita No Comments

OXFORD, Miss. – The 50th anniversary of James Meredith’s enrollment as the first black student at the University of Mississippi is still months away, but the event is commemorated in a special exhibit on display at Gallery 130 in Meek Hall through Feb. 29.

“Not Everyone (can carry the weight of the world)” is a sound installation by artists Les Christensen and John Salvest. Created as “a celebration of one man’s courage, determination and perseverance against incredible odds,” the work – like many sound installations – has visual elements that accompany the sound, but the focus is not what you see but what you hear.

The exhibit concludes Feb. 29 with a 2:30 p.m. lecture by both Salvest and Christensen in the gallery, followed by a reception. Both are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. (more…)

University Commemorates 50 Years of Integration Feb. 23 with Free Concert

Posted on: February 14th, 2012 by benita No Comments

OXFORD, Miss. – It’s as much fun listening to George Dor talk about the upcoming 2012 Black History Month concert as it is hearing him perform, and that’s saying a lot.

On Feb. 23, audiences will have a chance to do both when Dor, associate professor of music at the University of Mississippi, joins several UM student ensembles to present a musical commemoration called “Celebrating 50 Years of Integration.” (more…)

Brown bag lectures examine civil rights

Posted on: December 12th, 2011 by benita

The library held several brown bag lectures in the fall that focused on civil rights.

On Oct. 13, David Sansing lectured on “Meredith and Ole Miss: A Pivotal Moment in the Civil Rights Movement.” Sansing is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Mississippi. His presentation addressed the events of fall 1962 and their lasting impact on the university and the civil rights movement in general. (more…)

Silver Pond Dedication Photo Gallery

Posted on: September 30th, 2011 by benita

View images from the Silver Pond Dedication ceremony.

UM Tribute Set for Professor James W. Silver

Posted on: September 26th, 2011 by benita

OXFORD, Miss. – Nearly 50 years after he left the University of Mississippi in a storm of controversy, the late James W. Silver, a history professor and author of a well-known book on repression during the segregation era, will be honored by the university in a pair of programs Sept. 30. (more…)