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Unknown Photographer



James H. Meredith, first known black student attending the University of Mississippi, during math class, October 11, 1962
Vintage wire photograph on paper
7 3/16 x 9 9/16 in. (18.26 x 24.29 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.1458

Commentary
James H. Meredith, first known black student attending the University of Mississippi, during math class. A student took the picture, which drew Meredith’s attention away from the lecturing professor, Oxford, Mississippi.

James Howard Meredith (born June 25, 1933) is a trailblazer in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1962, he became the first black student admitted to the University of Mississippi, following an intense legal battle in the federal courts. In 1966, Meredith planned a solo 220-mile March Against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi to highlight continuing racism in the South and encourage voter registration after passage of the Voting Rights Act. The second day, he was shot by a white gunman and suffered numerous wounds. Leaders of major organizations vowed to complete the march in his name after he was taken to the hospital. During his recovery, more people from across the country became involved as marchers. Meredith rejoined the march. When he and other leaders entered Jackson on June 26, they were leading an estimated 15,000 marchers in what was the largest Civil Rights march in Mississippi.

Bibliography
Variant Illustration Associated Press ID #6210110380

Marks
On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: Associated Press stamp and date stamp.

Materials
Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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Dimensions
  • Image Dimensions: 7 3/16 x 9 9/16 in. (18.26 x 24.29 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8 1/16 x 10 in. (20.48 x 25.4 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen


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