The Legacy of Ida B. Wells and the Struggle for Racial Justice at ‘Ole Miss’

Michelle Duster SAVE THIS

Ida B. Wells (Wikimedia Commons).

In September 2018, Ed Meek wrote a Facebook post that targeted Black students at the University of Mississippi. Meek, a wealthy white donor to “Ole Miss” implied that the presence of Black students at the university would result in a “3 percent decline in enrollment” and that “real estate values will plummet.” He juxtaposed this racially-coded language with images that singled out Black women. The fact that the school of journalism bore his name following a  $5.3 million donation transformed his comments into a reflection of the school’s attitude as a whole.

Ole Miss has a long history of resistance to the attendance of African American students, dating back to when federal marshals protected James Meredith when he desegregated the school in 1962. Fifty-seven years later, in a state that is 39 percent Black, only 14 percent of Ole Miss’ student population is…

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4 comments

  • Zhana

    Ida B. Wells managed to end all lynchings in Mississippi for 30 YEARS by taking her campaign to the UK. A woman of great courage.

    • Thank you for reading the article. Ida B Wells and so many more deserve to remembered and honored for the trails they blazed in the fight for justice and equality.

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