The past came home when BBC Radio’s “Witness” program interviewed me about the day over half a century ago when James Meredith became the first black American to register at the University of Mississippi. (Click the link above to listen)
Once again I heard the voice of Governor Ross Barnett promising segregation forever.
At an Ole Miss football game the weekend before, he stirred the crowd to fight integration.
I heard the voices of broadcasters describing the riots that occurred that fateful night in Oxford, Mississippi.
Two died and many were injured.
Meredith registered and attended classes, accompanied by federal protection until the day he graduated.
Surely, times are better for people of color today–but the old fears linger and percolate.
As Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” .