Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
The 1960's
James Meredith

James Meredith
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.99

     challenging words:    craving, administration, enroll, civil, enrolled, registration, military, denial, pursue, campaign, barrier, election, fulfill, advisor, obtain, government
     content words:    United States, Supreme Court, James Meredith, Air Force, Thurgood Marshall, National Association, Colored People, John F., Ross Barnett, Ole Miss

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James Meredith
By Jane Runyon

1     Linda Brown's father tried to enroll her in a Topeka, Kansas, elementary school in the early 1950s. He had no idea of the effect it would have on schools throughout the United States. The Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that public schools needed to be integrated. Children of all races were to be enrolled in the same schools. There would be no more black schools or white schools. That was the intent of the law. Some schools chose to close their eyes and ignore that law. The University of Mississippi was one of those schools. There were no black students at the Oxford, Mississippi, school. The administration planned that there would be no black students ever at the school. They were supported by the state government and the governor's office.
2     James Meredith had joined the Air Force after high school. To him, this was the only way he would be able to receive the type of education he desired. After leaving the military, he realized that the only way he would be able to fulfill his craving for a good education was to go to college. He also realized that the same quality of education offered to white students was not available to him. He wanted to enroll in the University of Mississippi.
3     Meredith sent in several applications to the university. Each time he applied, he was denied. There was a reason given for each denial, but James Meredith did not believe any of the excuses. After several months of trying, James Meredith contacted a man named Thurgood Marshall. Mr. Marshall was the head of a group called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP. Mr. Marshall looked closely at James Meredith's situation. They wrote letters to each other. They spoke to each other. Thurgood Marshall felt that this was a good cause for his group to pursue. James Meredith told him that he was ready to pursue his dream and would not back off. Mr. Marshall and the NAACP announced that they would back him.

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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
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The 1960's
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