UH, OK, OLE MISS WAS SO LATE IN THE DESEGREGATION BATTLE, IT HAPPENED IN '62, MANY OTHER COLLEGES HAD ALREADY BEEN DESEGREGATED. WHY, WHAT ABOUT, WHY WAS IT SO, THE LAST COLLEGE? IS IT SOMETHING TO DO WITH MISSISSIPPI ITSELF?
THIS WILL BE TAKE, TAKE NINETEEN.
THIS WILL BE TAKE TWENTY.
Old Miss. was uh, very difficult and, and perhaps one of the, the last um, uh, colleges to uh, to desegregate as such. But it did not happen easily. Uh, there was uh, massive resistance and I think most of the population expected that from Mississippi anyway. Why did they expect it? Because Mississippi had always taken a leadership position, if you will, in the sense of uh, defying the federal government, of seeing the federal government and all of its laws as imposing upon states' rights, their rights – that they were not going to be told what to do and that indeed uh, that their population, particularly their black population, would stay in its place, and they, that uh, they were not going to uh, uh, get the kind of education uh, that whites were going to get.
Yes. I, I, I lost my train… I'm sorry.
THIS WILL BE TAKE TWENTY-ONE.
One of the reasons that Old Miss. was uh, such a difficult um, uh, university to, to desegregate, was due to the fact of the publicity uh, the emphasis that the Mississippi press gave uh, to uh, to the desegregation of Mississippi. I can recall um, one of the newspapers having a front page editorial with a broad black band around it that called for blood to flow in the streets uh, if uh, if uh, the school was desegregated. Uh, of course, the Governor took a very active role in uh, uh, talking about the threats that the state would make uh, on its uh, blacks who would uh, try to uh, enter the school. It was uh, an effort to instill fear uh, in the hearts of blacks and it was also an effort, and a very successful one, to arouse fear and uh, a kind of frenzy uh, in the white community to fight back** uh, against uh, the change within their system. And uh, we were hitting them at the very heart of it in, in the educational system. The press played up all of the negatives that could possibly happen. Uh, the press uh, through uh, the media, I should say, the radio stations continually played uh, the rebel songs, you had the rebel calls, you had uh, almost every five minutes, a message from the Governor uh, that talked about blood flowing in the streets, we must resist, that the federal government uh, is an enemy of ours, that we are, if you will, kind of an island unto ourselves. And it really took one back into uh, the days of uh, the Civil War uh, from what you could read and, and ascertain that happened from that. It was a maddening time. Uh, but it was also a time that gave us, as a people uh, more of a determination uh, to follow through.