African-American Queen: Ole Miss Votes In It’s First African-Amercian Homecoming Queen

| October 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

We’ve come a long way! While the Deep South has been known as a hot pocket of racism, Mississippi has always held the title as one of the South’s hottest areas of racial tension. While it’s brutal racists history still haunts many, one pillar came down this past weekend.

50 years after its controversial admission of James Meredith, the first African-American to attend the university, Ole Miss has crowned its first black homecoming queen. Courtney Pearson was crowned homecoming Queen this past weekend during the Ole Miss vs. Auburn game. She was escorted by her father, Commander Kerri Pearson.

Ole Miss has never shied away from its traditional southern roots. When James Meredith tried to integrate the school on September 30th 1962, a riot broke out encouraged by remarks made by then Governor of Mississippi Ross Barnett. Then President John F. Kennedy had to call on more than twenty thousand U.S. Army soldiers to bring order back to the campus. The riot ended with 2 people dead and sixty marshals injured.

With sports teams that go by the name, “Rebels” they’ve always proudly waved the Confederate flag, with flags prominently shown on the football uniforms and the mascot Colonel Reb.

Pearson who won by less than 100 votes, coming in at 1,477 to 1,387 over a white student,  proudly on the field with her father goes a long way towards ending some of those traditions on the campus of Ole Miss.

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