Commemorative Book

James Meredith: Breaking the Barrier

Available this September, James Meredith: Breaking the Barrier is an illustrated collection of essays commemorating the 60th anniversary of James Meredith’s historic 1962 enrollment at the University of Mississippi. Providing a unique combination of viewpoints, ten former University students, journalists, historians and eye-witnesses tell the story of James Meredith’s turbulent but successful path to become the state’s first Black to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

50+ photos, 160 pages, paperback, ISBN 9780916242909, $15.00. 



James Meredith describes his three-year campaign to break the color barrier at the University of Mississippi and his graduation in 1963.

Dorothy Gilliam, the first female African American reporter hired by the Washington Post, explores the legal challenges Meredith overcame.

William Doyle , author of An American Insurrection, reveals how Meredith planned and carried out what amounted to a military campaign to secure admission to the university.

Sidna Brower Mitchell, former student-editor of The Daily Mississippian, turned out a midnight edition of the school paper and received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her editorial calling for calm.

Curtis Wilkie, a journalism senior and a spectator during the riot, drew a map showing the positions of the U.S. deputy marshals and the demonstrators.

Henry Gallagher, as a U.S. Army MP lieutenant, commanded the military security detail which guarded James Meredith 24/7 after he was enrolled at the university.

Marquita Smith, Ole Miss journalism professor, records African Americans’ recollections of how Meredith’s enrollment at the University of Mississippi impacted their lives.

Kathleen Wickham, editor of the book and journalism professor at Ole Miss, examines the tragic story of French journalist Paul Guihard, the only reporter to be killed during the Civil Rights era.

William Winter, former governor of Mississippi, tells how Mississippi overcame mob rule to recognize the rights of all its citizens.

Jesse Holland, Ole Miss alumnus and White House historian, credits Meredith in the “Foreword” with paving the way for generations of African-American students.