James Meredith knew what it was like to face racist threats - he was the first Black student at Ole Miss. Now he faced a new danger.
He walked along Highway 51 through Mississippi, with purpose and poise - and without fear. But his resolve would soon be shaken.
It was 1966, and he’d organized the “March Against Fear” - an attempt to show Black Southerners that, despite racist threats, they had nothing to fear when registering to vote.
He was, in some respects, wrong. On only the second day of the march, Meredith was shot, hospitalizing him.
Though the danger WAS real, that isn’t the end of the story!
Civil rights organizations of the time, and leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Stokely Carmichael, made sure the march would continue.
The violence actually invigorated the supporters, and they increased voter registration drives along the route. They even registered 106-year-old former slave El Fondren!
By the end of the march, Meredith was back in action - undeterred and resilient.
The experience inspired Stokeley Carmichael to popularize the phrase “Black Power” in a fiery speech during the march - changing the course of the Civil Rights movement forever!
Like Meredith and the rest of the marchers, we too can refuse to back down in the fight for our liberation despite the violence levied against us!