James Meredith celebrates turning 90 with march against crime

Published: Jun. 25, 2023 at 11:36 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Civil Rights Activist James Meredith turned 90 years young today, and he celebrated right here in the capital city.

James Meredith came to WLBT about a month ago and said he was going to celebrate 90 years by marching once again for peace.

Jim Hill High School’s band kicked off the celebration by leading the march against crime from Jackson City Hall, down Congress Street, and then to the state capitol building.

Community leaders and the family of Meredith spoke about how he impacted the state and paved the way for change across the country.

However, speakers also said that crime in the Magnolia state is tearing apart what Meredith fought for years ago, so further change needs to be made.

“He’s boiled it down to the 10 commandments. How do we get this society back to where it needs to be? Civility, patience, working with people, whether you disagree with them more likely than not,” said Mac Mcafee, the event coordinator.

“He doesn’t really believe in a black American or white American. He believes in the United States of America. I think it’s important there are people who trailblaze for people like me to do what I’m doing, to continue what they’re doing. And so we can come out and, you know, acknowledge them and give them their flowers while they’re still here,” said Terry Rodgers, an event participant.

Guest speakers included Corporal Colendula Green with the Jackson Police Department, Coach Eric Strothers from Tougaloo College, and others.

Meredith’s words were brief after he collapsed suddenly during his speech.

Those around him rushed to give him attention, but he was able to finish out the event strong.

As far as we know, he went home in good health.

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