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Central figure in Miss. integration defies labels

3:40 PM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
The Gertrude Castellow Ford Center is seen prior to the start of the first of three presidential debates before the 2008 election on September 26, 2008 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. Presidential candidates Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) arrived in Oxford after taking part in negotiations the previous day in Washington, D.C. to solve the current financial crisis. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS
Associated Press
    
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - James Meredith changed Mississippi forever when he enrolled at the state's segregated flagship university 50 years ago.
    
Yet he says he doesn't plan to participate in the University of Mississippi's commemoration of his enrollment, which prompted a state-federal standoff, sparked deadly mob violence and ended the university's official policy of racial segregation.
    
The university has invited Meredith to take part in events to mark the anniversary, including a walk Monday to retrace his first day on campus.
    
These days, Meredith says he'd rather talk about what he sees as his current mission from God. He wants every black congregation in Mississippi to take responsibility for each child born within two miles of the church and make sure each receives a good education and proper moral upbringing.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

10/1/2012 5:24:09 AM (GMT -4:00)

Associated Press

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