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Meredith’s Father Proud of His Son

Sept. 20, 1962 - The old man paused a moment to consider the question about his 29-year-old son and then said, with a note of pride: “I encouraged him because he wants the higher education they don’t have here for the colored people.” This was Moses (Cap) Meredith, a 71-year-old Negro farmer, talking about his son, James H. Meredith (center), who has been trying for more than a year to transfer from the all-Negro Jackson State College to the all-white University of Mississippi. “J.H.,” as the family calls him, is one of 10 children of Moses and Roxie Meredith. He was born on June 25, 1933, on an 84-acre cotton and corn form scratched out in north central Mississippi by his father. The senior Meredith described himself as the son of a slave. “I was just a poor man,” he said, “and I never got beyond the fourth grade.” He was determined that his children would do better. All 10 were graduated from high school. Seven went to college. James Meredith has given no precise information on what has motivated his one-man campaign to desegregate the University of Mississippi. But he has indicated that his father’s example of strength and determination have influenced him.

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