Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

James Meredith shot

with 3 comments


First African-American student at the University of Mississippi, James Meredith was a reviled figure. During a voter registration march (the March Against Fear) for the African-Americans on June 6th 1967, he was ambushed by the white supremacists who shouted, “I just want James Meredith!” The sniper fire by Aubrey James Norvell hit him in the head, neck, back and legs.

A novice photographer for AP, Jim Thornell was on the scene for the voter registration march and he took two rolls of pictures. He then drove back to Memphis in a panic, convinced he would be fired for failing to photograph both the assailant and the victim. Minutes passed before an ambulance reached Meredith, who lay in the road alone, shouting “Isn’t anyone going to help me?”. The photo (and the event itself) was a flash point in the American civil rights movement. It united and galvanized the scattered civil rights movement. The photo won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in 1967.

Meredith himself survived, and made several attempts to be elected to Congress as a Republican. Increasingly conservative, he accused liberal whites of being “the greatest enemy” of African Americans, opposed economic sanctions against South Africa and making Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a national holiday.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

May 30, 2009 at 9:05 am

Posted in Politics, Society

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3 Responses

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  1. Your characterization of “liberal whites” is still relevant today. Please take this “man” down a notch and mention that James Meredith’s enrollment was just as “petulant, petty and political” as the lousy MLK supporters you attack here on your blog: https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/black-power-salute/

    GOOD WORK!!!


    October 26, 2009 at 4:38 am

  2. Meredith was shot June 6, 1966. NOT 1967. The Pulitzer was awarded in 1967.

    Get it straight.


    February 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm

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