Wednesday, July 8, 2015

University of Mississippi - Contrasts

Charles Ross, head of the African American studies department, points out a Confederate statue at the entrance to the University of Mississippi. A statue of James Meredith, the first black student to enroll in the university, in 1962 under armed guard, stands a few hundred yards from the Confederate memorial.

The first African American cheerleader, John Hawkins, in 1982 was sent death threats after he refused to carry the Confederate flag on to the football field.  Fifteen years later the university did away with the flag for good from official sporting events, and in 2003 the mascot Colonel Reb was retired.

But the school still centers around Rebel Drive, and Dixie is played at sporting events.

Dr. Don Cole enrolled in 1968 as a student, and was expelled two years later for organizing civil rights events. He returned in the mid-eighties as a math professor, and now advises the chancellor on multicultural issues.

Back and forth at the University of Mississippi, just like our country.