OXFORD, Miss. — The FBI on Tuesday was helping investigate who tied a noose around the neck of a University of Mississippi statue of James Meredith, who, in 1962, became the first black student to enroll in the then all-white Southern college.University police on Sunday morning found the rope noose and, on the statue’s face, a pre-2003 Georgia state flag with a Confederate battle symbol, said campus police Chief Calvin Sellers.
When Meredith tried to enter Ole Miss in fall 1962, Mississippi’s governor tried to stop him, and that led to violence on the Oxford campus. U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent 500 U.S. marshals to take control and days later, Meredith was allowed in the school. Though he faced harassment during his time at the school, he graduated with a degree in political science
University police asked for the FBI’s help, said Deborah R. Madden, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi FBI office in Jackson.
About 150 Ole Miss students, black and white, rallied around the Meredith statue Tuesday to protest the vandalism, according to Charlie Mitchell, a journalism professor who attended the event. They held posters with several hand-written slogans, including, “Justice for African-Americans,” ‘’Respect the Students” and “This is Our University.” One poster said: “The actions done in the cowardly dark will never diminish the light of James Meredith’s legacy nor our creed.”
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Stephen "TheeBlackSocialite" Hale