James H. Meredith (born June 25, 1933) is an American civil rights movement figure. He was the first African American student at the University of Mississippi, an event that was a flash point in the American civil rights movement. Motivated by the broadcast of President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address (which did not mention civil rights per se) Meredith decided to apply his democratic rights and then made the ultimate decision to apply to the University of Mississippi. Meredith's goal was to put pressure on the Kennedy administration.
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