(Hernando, MS) On Wednesday, civil rights icon James Meredith made only his second trip to Hernando since he was shot here in a voting registration march in 1966.
He came to the Hernando library to promote his new book, “A Mission from God”.
”Hernando is the only place I ever got shot.”
An unemployed Memphis Hardware store worker, Aubrey Norvell, hid in a ditch, called Meredith’s name and shot him with a shotgun.
”The shooting of James Meredith was the only major civil rights event to occur here in DeSoto County” said Brian Hicks of the DeSoto County Museum.
He says it created another important chapter in Mississippi history.
”He (Norvell) was actually convicted. He was one of the very first Caucasians to be convicted for the attempted murder of an African-American in the State of Mississippi”.
Meredith spoke about the need for better education, and the need for adults to hold children accountable for their actions. He also believes churches should get more involved in raising people up, and imparting good values on children.
But among the biggest questions of the more than one hundred people here, Meredith’s take on the Trayvon Mardin case.
”The Trayvon Martin case is the most important black/white case since the 1931 Scottsboro case”.
The Scottsboro case took place in Alabama after nine teenagers were accused of rape.
It wasn’t possible to clarify Meredith’s statement because he said, “I don’t do interviews with the media”.
He seemed to go on to say the death of Trayvon Martin could have been avoided if families on both sides had raised their children to better respect life and others.
”Misssissippi, I believe, is gonna put it back in place.”
He says Mississippians openly acknowledge their issues and that’s the first step toward advancement.
Meredith says he firmly believes the honesty and tranparancy he sees in Mississippi could and should lead the nation to a new era of racial reconciliation.