MY TURN: Breaking the color barrier

WMC My Turn: Breaking the color barrier

(WMC-TV) - Fifty years ago this week, James Meredith asserted his rights as an American citizen and in the face of violent opposition, he became the first African-American to attend the University of Mississippi.

Meredith broke the color barrier not only at Ole Miss but figuratively at all of the all-white major state universities in the Old South.

Violent protests greeted him for his arrival on campus in Oxford and throughout his time there, many students did everything they could to try to get him to quit, but he did not. Meredith graduated from the University of Mississippi and paved the road to higher education for generations to come.

He declined to participate this week as the University observed of the 50th anniversary of his arrival on campus. Many of the students who did participate knew that, in part, they were there because of the bold stand taken on their campus by James Meredith. At many of the great turning points in history, you'll find a brave hero and that certainly is true of this week in 1962.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment or anything else, email or call 800-465-1210.