“One day the South will recognize its real heroes. There will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963


“James Meredith is the founding father of modern Mississippi.”

– Historian William Doyle, 2009

“He was after a prize. He was after his education. He felt like he had a right to it and he went for it. He had convictions, and he had the courage of his convictions.”

– Ross Barnett, Jr., son of segregationist Mississippi governor Ross Barnett, 2009


“I thought I was the baddest man ever to live on this earth.”

– James Meredith, 2007


“There is an almost mystical urge impelling James Meredith.”

The New York Times, 1962


“He’s a black Don Quixote.”

Newsweek magazine, 1966


“He’s a kind of prophet. He’s a civil rights mystic.”

– Reverend Robert Weeks, 2010


“March he must and march he will.”

– Marlon Brando, 1966


“He does his praying with his feet.”

– Reverend Robert Weeks, 2010


“In their own times, men like Meredith are called both saints and fools, and it is only history that makes the final judgment.”

Life magazine, 1966