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Joe T. Patterson and the White South's DilemmaEvolving Resistance to Black Advancement$
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Robert E., Jr. Luckett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802699

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802699.001.0001

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Braying Jackasses

Braying Jackasses

(p.110) Chapter 6 Braying Jackasses
Joe T. Patterson and the White South's Dilemma

Robert E. Luckett

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the implications of James Meredith's attempt to integrate the University of Mississippi in 1962 for the Jim Crow South and the white leadership in Mississippi. The central question arising from the Meredith crisis was how far members of the white hierarchy would be willing to go to maintain segregation in higher education. Ross Barnett and the Citizens' Council forced a reluctant federal government to intervene, resulting in the eruption of violence on the campus. Others, like Joe T. Patterson, were more willing to bend in order to maintain as much power as possible. This chapter first discusses Meredith's fight for admission to Ole Miss that culminated in Meredith v. Fair as well as Patterson's attempt to keep Meredith out of the university. It then considers the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of Meredith and the US Department of Justice's involvement in the case. It also explores Patterson's the behind-the-scenes efforts to finally allow Meredith to enter the campus.

Keywords:   segregation, James Meredith, University of Mississippi, Jim Crow, US Department of Justice, Mississippi, Ross Barnett, Citizens' Council, Joe T. Patterson, Meredith v. Fair

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