Jun. 6, 2019

June 6, 1966, The Beginning Of The End Of An Era, James Meredith Shot

June 6, 1966

53 years ago today James Meredith started his one-man march against fear from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi little did James Meredith know that something was lurking in the weeds. Racist Hate, James would end up in a Memphis, Tennessee hospital by the end of the day with a life-threatening shotgun wound from buckshot. The Associated Press actually put out news reports that evening that indicated that James Meredith was murdered on that highway on Tennessee-Mississippi border.

What started off as an inconsequential march by one black man, James Meredith. Ending up being one of the most historic civil rights marches in the annals of American history. You see once James Meredith was taken out of the picture due to the shooting on June 6, 1966. The following organizations took over the march and thus changed the dynamics and direction of this direct assault on Mississippi black injustice. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference lead by Martin Luther King Jr, The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee lead by Stokley Carmichael and The Core Of Racial Equality lead by Floyd McKissick took the directional lead of this march. It was deemed to be the final successful march of the civil rights era.

The March Against Fear dawned a new day in the struggle for black equality because it was the march that awoke a new militancy by young blacks when Stokley Carmichael changed the entire narrative from peaceful non-direct protest to the demand for Black Power in the small Mississippi town of Greenwood. That speech and the call and response shook the very fiber of the white and the middle-class negro populace. It changed what was peaceful and acceptable to youthful voices of change who were no longer willing to love without militant action. During the march, there was a direct assault on the marchers by the full force of the state of Mississippi's law enforcement department that was categorized as vicious and unyielding.

Yet the march proved to be successful because it awakened African Americans not only in Mississippi but across the entire nation. From this march, the energies were formulated to the founding of The Black Panther Party for Sel-Defense, and also this march engaged young black men and women to directly confront the American system for massive and corrective change. Yet, we also must be honest, it also engaged the white massive power structure to plot a plan to utterly destroy any efforts of Black America to change the dynamics of seeking the equality that was so urgently needed in our black communities throughout the nation. Within 2-3 years, Martin Luther King Jr. would be murdered in a Memphis, Tennessee motel, Stokley Carmichael's voice would be diminished, The Black Panther Party's efforts for united defense would be severely diminished, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's ability to lead the Poor People's Campaign in Washington DC would be considered a complete failure. The institutions of white supremacy would have prevailed due to the strategies plotted out at the end of the 1966 March Against Fear. So, when you look at our history it is important to understand the importance of both dates and actions. June 6, 1966, was the beginning of the end of the era of civil rights. Since that date, blacks have failed to gain complete traction in our struggle for equality.