Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Hernando in DeSoto County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

March Against Fear

 

Mississippi Freedom Trail

 
March Against Fear Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 24, 2019
1. March Against Fear Marker
Inscription.  
Front James Meredith began his Memphis-to-Jackson "March Against Fear" on June 4, 1966, challenging a'the all-pervasive and overriding fear" that kept black Mississippians from registering to vote. On the second day, south of Hernando, a white man emerged from the roadside and shot Meredith three times, wounding him, Major civil rights leaders Including Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King, Jr., Floyd McKissick, Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young converged in Hernando to continue the march to the State Capitol. Meredith recovered sufficiently by June 26th to join the rally there, where, along with others, he addressed the largest crowd assembled for the cause of civil rights in the state's history.

Reverse
James Meredith, who had integrated the University of Mississippi in the fall of 1962, hoped that his June 1966 "March Against Fear" from Memphis to Jackson would set an example of courage to African Americans in Mississippi, encouraging them to register to vote, He also sought popular attention, as he was considering running for governor or lieutenant governor in the 1967 election.

On

March Against Fear Marker (reverse) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 24, 2019
2. March Against Fear Marker (reverse)
the first day of the march, Sunday, June 5, Meredith left Memphis from the Peabody Hotel and walked with a small, unprotected group through the city without incident. In suburban Whitehaven he encountered hecklers waving Confederate flags. About thirty cars of whites, gathered to block him, were dispersed by the Tennessee state police before the marchers arrived. The next day, June 6, as the marchers crossed the state line into Mississippi, they were accompanied by the DeSoto County sheriff and deputies, Mississippi highway patrolmen, and FBI agents. In the DeSoto county seat of Hernando, Meredith was received warmly by about 150 African Americans, but south of Hernando, about 4:00 p.m. the group received a warning: an armed man had been observed on the road ahead. A few miles later, a man appeared from roadside woods and shouted "James Meredith! James Meredith!" then "I only want James Meredith!" before shooting him three times with a shotgun loaded with birdshot.

The Hernando ambulance took Meredith to a Memphis hospital; the Associated Press misunderstood a report and announced that James Meredith was dead, later correcting the statement. On hearing news of the incident, comedian Dick Gregory staged a reverse walk from Hernando to Memphis, while major civil rights leaders converged in Hernando to continue the March Against Fear to Jackson. During the next few weeks, Stokely

Closeup of photos on reverse. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 24, 2019
3. Closeup of photos on reverse.
Carmichael (SNCC), Martin Luther King Jr. (SCLC), Floyd McKissick (CORE), Roy Wilkins (NAACP), and Whitney Young (Urban League), among others, led the march, including rallies in Greenwood, Philadelphia, and Canton that would have lasting effects on the movement. The march culminated in the largest civil rights rally at the State Capitol in the history of the state. The shooter, Memphian Aubrey James Norvell, was apprehended three minutes after the assault. Firearms experts said Meredith survived due only to Norvell's bad aim. Meredith recovered sufficiently to rejoin the marchers at Tougaloo College and the Capitol rally in Jackson.
 
Erected 2016 by Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division. (Marker Number 24.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the Mississippi Freedom Trail marker series.
 
Location. 34° 47.901′ N, 89° 59.364′ W. Marker is near Hernando, Mississippi, in DeSoto County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 51 and Vinson Road, on the right when traveling south on U.S. 51. Located near the Hernando Veterans of Foreign Wars Post (VFW) #7531. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4243 US-51, Hernando MS 38632, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Living Blues (approx.
March Against Fear Marker looking south towards the VFW building. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 24, 2019
4. March Against Fear Marker looking south towards the VFW building.
9 miles away); Hubert Sumlin (approx. 9.6 miles away); Charley Patton (approx. 9.6 miles away); Dockery Farms (approx. 9.6 miles away); The Peavine Branch (approx. 9.6 miles away); Po' Monkey's (approx. 9.6 miles away); Club Ebony (approx. 9.6 miles away); Albert King (approx. 9.6 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on James Meredith. (Submitted on October 24, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil Rights
 
View of marker, looking north on US-51 towards Hernando. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 24, 2019
5. View of marker, looking north on US-51 towards Hernando.
James Howard Meredith (born June 25, 1933) image. Click for full size.
By Public domain, 1962
6. James Howard Meredith (born June 25, 1933)
 

More. Search the internet for March Against Fear.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 24, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 24, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 30 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 24, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
Paid Advertisement