Jackson City Council renames street after James Meredith

James Meredith speaking at Jackson City Council meeting.
James Meredith speaking at Jackson City Council meeting.(City of Jackson)
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 1:51 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Jackson city street has been renamed to honor a Mississippi civil rights icon.

On Tuesday, the council voted 6-0 to rename Griffith Street to James H. Meredith Drive.

Meredith, an Air Force veteran, was the first African American to enroll at the University of Mississippi, where he graduated in 1963.

Ward 6 Councilman Aaron Banks said it was a “timely honor” for Meredith and thanked Councilman Kenneth Stokes, who was absent, for bringing the measure forward.

“Mr. Stokes always says you want to appreciate people and you want to do for people while they’re still here, so that they can smell the flowers,” Banks said. “Mr. Meredith, I just want to say for me and my family, we appreciate you, you are a legacy and today we celebrate you.”

Meredith thanked the council for the honor, saying he wants to focus on addressing crime in the Black community.

He said he committed himself in February to go to towns across the state spreading his message.

“It may not be true that we have the biggest crime problem, but everybody thinks so,” he said. “We’ve got to solve this problem, and I want to start in Jackson.”

The ordinance renaming the street will go into effect 30 days from its passage. It’s not known when street signs will be put in place.

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