50th anniversary of James Meredith's March Against Fear - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

50th anniversary of James Meredith's March Against Fear

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Sunday, more than 100 people walked downtown to commemorate the 50th anniversary of James Meredith's March Against Fear. 

Many people say they walked today to honor their history and others say they wanted to celebrate the hard work of James Meredith and other civil rights leaders.

"It's a legacy that needs to be protected and honored because they fought hard so we can be here today," said Margaret Nanayaa Baker from Footprint, Creative Arts and Institute.

On June 5, 1966, James Meredith set out to walk from Memphis to Jackson. However, when he was shot, other civil rights leaders continued the march in his honor.

Sunday, dozens of people did the same by walking from the Smith Robertson Museum to the State Capitol.

"You don't want to forget your past, you want to be able to use that foundation to build on so you'll have a brighter future," said Glen Cotton of Canton.

The program continued at the Capitol with guest speakers. 

"Now, I don't know how many elected officials are out there today. I don't know how many, I don't see any. And I'm going to send a message - you ought to be here," said one of the event coordinators. "You ought to be here because you stand on our shoulders."

"We've come so far. Just to think 50 years ago we couldn't go to any institution we wanted for our educational purposes," Cotton explained. "We couldn't be elected for any kind of public office."

Dr. Meredith was the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. He dedicated his life to promoting Christian values and educational excellence. 

"Mr. Meredith worked hard and others like him, those others that shared the stage with him today and of course our ancestors the shoulders that we stand on, there's a legacy to protect and honor because they fought hard so that we can be here today," Baker explained.

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