Smithsonian Channel ™ explores the impact of a visionary Civil Rights icon

Smithsonian Channel ™ explores the impact of a visionary Civil Rights icon who risked his life for voting rights and courageously integrated Ole Miss in “Walk Against Fear: James Meredith”

New documentary special premieres on the 58th anniversary of Meredith’s enrollment at Ole Miss on October 1 at 8PM ET/PT

NEW YORK — September 30, 2020 — James H. Meredith is one of the most influential, controversial, and forgotten icons of the Civil Rights era. His complete story has never been told in a documentary, largely because he has refused to grant access. WALK AGAINST FEAR: JAMES MEREDITH offers unprecedented access to the remarkable life and legacy of Meredith, and strives to make sense of the man who fearlessly integrated the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in 1962, and led the momentous 1966 “Meredith March Against Fear” in America’s segregated south. The documentary special premieres globally on Thursday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel in the U.S and at 9 p.m. in the U.K.

With exclusive access to Meredith and members of his family, rare archives and interviews with eyewitnesses, journalist Bob Schieffer, historian Yohuru Williams, author William Doyle, journalist Dorothy Gilliam, among others, Smithsonian Channel ™ reveals the untold story of a man who put his life on the line to fight white supremacy. In his quest to become the first Black person to enroll at Ole Miss, Meredith forced the U.S. government to use the military to enforce his rights as a citizen.

After becoming the first Black man to enroll at Ole Miss, Meredith forced the U.S. government to use the military to enforce his rights as a citizen. When riots broke out, President Kennedy called in 20,000 federal troops to restore order. Meredith quickly became a civil rights icon, although he rejects the term to this day. A nonconformist, he has always marched to the beat of his own drum. In 1966, he was shot while walking alone across Mississippi on the second day of his “Walk Against Fear.” His quest ended up attracting some 15,000 marchers, and encouraged 4,000 Black citizens of Mississippi to register to vote for the first time.

WALK AGAINST FEAR: JAMES MEREDITH is produced by Lion Television LLC and Dream Reality Media Limited for Smithsonian Networks. Sol B. River is the executive producer and director for Dream Reality Media alongside executive producer Tony Tackaberry for Lion Television. Linda Goldman and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.

About Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel™, a ViacomCBS Inc. network, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy® and Peabody awards for its programming, is the home of popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are hit series including Aerial America, America in Color, America’s Hidden Stories, Apollo’s Moon Shot, The Pacific War in Color and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, Black Hole Hunters and Princess Diana’s Wicked Stepmother. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Channel Plus™, a subscription video streaming service delivering over a thousand hours of the Channel’s stunning and diverse library of documentaries and series in HD and 4K Ultra HD. Smithsonian Channel is also available internationally in Canada, Singapore, Latin America, the UK and Ireland. To learn more, go to, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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