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Local Author, Historian Retired U.S.Marshal Former Jackson Ms. Police Chief from Pontotoc Mississippi, who led successful effort to have Black Marshal’s recognized who served on James Meredith Protection detail 50 years ago at Ole Miss in 1962/63 to be Honored and will speak at Ole Miss Monday October 1, 2012 on U.S. marshal 50 Anniversary panel with the U.S. Marshal Director, James Meredith Son and three Deputy Marshals who served in Mississippi in 1962, who helped end racial segregation at Ole Miss
Author Robert Moore Figure 2Kirk Bowden /Ole Miss 1962/63
For fifty years retired Deputy U.S. Marshal Kirk Bowden lived with the knowledge that he and five other Black Deputies and one Black U.S. Marshal were participants in one of the most celebrated Civil Rights Case in the history of the country, the Integration of Ole Miss and U.S. Marshal Protection detail that help contain a mob and insure that James Meredith was enrolled at the University of Mississippi in 1962. Deputy Bowden also lived with the fact that ten years ago white deputies were honored for their work at Ole Miss in 1962 and that the Black Deputies were never mentioned in the many books written about this Chapter in our Civil Rights History, until retired U.S. Marshal Robert Moore and Author of “The Presidents Men: Black United States Marshals in America” contacted him to verify that he and Marshal Luke Moore were participants of the protection detail. Following the publication of the book and many correspondences and meeting with University and Marshal Service officials the Author requested that these black deputies be recognized at the 50th Anniversary of the Integration of Ole Miss and that the only living Black Deputy, be invited to speak. One Monday October 1, 2012 at 9:30 am Deputy Marshal Kirk Bowden returned to Ole Miss as a speaker on a panel for the first time since 1962. “The U.S. Marshals and Oxford—a 50th Anniversary Panel included deputies who were the object of the riot and the Author who worked to have the black deputies recognized and included in the celebration.
The Author family has a long history at Ole Miss. In 1949 “More than a decade before the University of Mississippi, a.k.a. Ole Miss, admitted its first black student James Meredith in 1962 , the friendship between a white art professor and a black artist quietly transcended the region’s deeply-held policy of racist segregation; columnist and Ole Miss alumnus Magee (The South is Round) charts this aberrant relationship, between University professor Stuart Purser and untrained artist M.B. Mayfield, a reticent, impoverished sharecropper who fed his endless drive to paint by extracting hues from flowers and vegetables. Professor Purser taught Mr. Mayfield art in a clandestine manner. Many other members of the Authors family have walked through the closet doors that Professor Purser cracked for M.B. Mayfield and the enrollment doors which James Meredith smashed.
As a cousin of Mr. Mayfield, and the author of the “The President’s Men: Black United States Marshals in America,” devotes an entire chapter to Mr. Meredith and the Black Marshals who supervised his protection detail and the six black deputies who rotated into Jackson and oxford from their assigned district in Washington DC in 1962/63 These Black Marshals contribution to the civil rights era was never identified in all the book writing about this moment in our history. The Chapter is titled Marshal Luke Moore: The forgotten Marshal who protected James Meredith during the integration of (Ole Miss) University of Mississippi
The author grew up in the segregated town of Pontotoc, Mississippi on a forty-acre farm just 30 mile from Oxford and the University of Mississippi and 10 miles from Ecru where his cousin Mr. Mayfield was born. In his home state he experienced the full force of a separate and unequal society. He grew up in a society where there were separate schools, separate drinking fountains, no public lodging, and where he was prohibited from eating in restaurants or other public eating-places.
The author experience the full sting of these racist policies, when he was required to purchase food from the back of an eating establishment, through a window cut in the back or side of the building. He walked in excess of 4 miles each day to school because no school bus transportation was provided.
Regardless of the circumstances of his living environment, he graduated from Pontotoc Colored High School in 1962, with the distinction of being voted most likely to succeed. After graduation, he served three years in the military in Kansas and Germany. He left Pontotoc for the army on August 13, 1962 47 days before the September 30. 1962 riot at Ole Miss. Due to his military obligations in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and the subsequent Cuban Missile crises three weeks later, the author was not aware of the riot or the historic mission of James Meredith, not only to enroll at Ole Miss, but to break the back of organized and “massive resistance” to integration in the south.
Even though he was not aware of Meredith fight, he began his on small rebellion against segregation, something he did not understand, by removing “white only” sign from a water cooler in a small town in Mississippi as he drove back to Fort Riley Kansas.
In 1964, while traveling in uniform to Mississippi, by Greyhound Bus, the author recounts stopping at a bus stop in Arkansas and wanting to purchase a hamburger. However, it was the practice if you were African American you purchase your food out back. That day the author initiated a quiet and unobserved civil disobedience act that ended his life- long practice of purchasing food from the back of white café. He challenged this practice by entering the establishment and being asked to be served.—He was served. The two experiences began the author’s long career of fighting for human and civil rights across the nation.
Following his tour of military duty, he returned to Mississippi and shortly thereafter, migrated to Rockford, Illinois. He arrived in Rockford with a high school education and twenty dollars in his possession.
Today, the Honorable Robert Moore (ret) United States Marshal and former Chief of Police of Jackson, Mississippi has been awarded a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration, from the University of Illinois at Springfield. He was the recipient of the University 2009 Alumni Humanitarian award and the 2007 Federal Bureau of Investigation Directors Community Leadership award. Marshal Moore is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s National Police Academy, located on the campus of the University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.
The self published author is a successful Business Man, a historian on black Marshals history, curator of the national traveling exhibit “The President Men: Black U.S. Marshals.” A President of the United States appointed his Marshal in Illinois, the Mayors of Savannah, Georgia, and Jackson, Mississippi has appointed him to the positions of Deputy Chief of Police and Chief of Police respectively. In 2002 he returned to his home state of Mississippi to become the 25th Chief of Police of Jackson Mississippi—the largest police force in Mississippi.
Although he was born in the South, only miles from where the Marshal Service protected James Meredith in 1962 and 1963 as he led the integration efforts at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, his knowledge of the Marshals Service was non-existent. Growing up in Pontotoc, Mississippi it was never in his mind that he could become a Marshal or the Chief of Police in his home state of Mississippi. It certainly was not in his wildest dreams that he would meet a President or be appointed by one.
While doing the research for his book, “The Presidents Men: Black United States Marshals in America,” the author discovered that a Black U.S. Marshal supervised the James Meredith protection detail and that six Black Deputy marshals were assign to that historic detail after Meredith enrolled in School, but was never mentioned in any of the history book about this historic event. Fifty years later these deputies will be recognized for their participation in protecting Mr. Meredith.
About the Book
The Honorable Robert Moore, retired United States Marshal appointed by President Clinton in 1994 and former Chief of Police, of Jackson, Mississippi has published the first history Book on Black Presidential appointed United States Marshals in America. The book was self published by the author Robert Moore in January of 2011and it is reproduced, marketed and distributed through the family owned business of Robert Moore and Associates Black Marshals Publishing.www.blackmarshalpublishing.com
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“The President Men”
Just when you thought you had heard everything about the life and time of Frederick Douglass as a slave, an American abolitionist, editor, orator, statesman and reformer called “The Sage of Anacostia” and “The Lion of Anacostia,” comes along a book entitled, “The President’s Men Black United States Marshals in America. This book highlights the appointment and tenure of Frederick Douglass, the first Presidential appointed Black United States Marshals in America, Marshal Luke Moore , the second appointee, who supervised the James Meredith detail at the University of Mississippi in 1962, and 65 other Black Men and one female who have been confirmed by the United States Senate and received appointments from nine Presidents, from 1877 to the present including President Obama seventeen African American appointments. Mississippi presently has two U.S. Marshals appointed by President Obama.
Robert Moore’s book entitled, “The President’s Men: Black United States Marshals in America,” is unique and has both a rich Black history, and has a political overtone. The book informs readers about the experiences of 66 prestigious African-American men and one woman who received appointments as United States Marshals from nine Presidents over the last 222 years, since the Marshal Service has been in existence.
It is a political history book because these men were political appointees who were recommended by United States Senators or United States Representatives of the political party of the elected president and were confirmed by the United States Senate.
His purpose for writing the book was to honor and preserve the rich history of Black Presidential appointed U.S. Marshals, fill the information void about their history, and educate the nation about their accomplishments.
Black and white writers for movies, television, and books have ignored the role of African-Americans in the Marshal Service as heroes, police executives, reformers, and ordinary people. Since African-American Marshals have been ignored in the acting and literary world, society, including the African-American community, views the prestigious, authoritative Unites States Marshals as just white males and more recently white females.
This constant view of white actors being cast in the role of Marshals and Deputy Marshals has resulted in a “Certain Blindness” in our society about the roles and accomplishment of African -American Marshals and Deputy Marshals. Because of this “blindness,” the author was inspired to write this book. He was further motivated after being appointed as Marshal in 1994 by President Clinton and learning that 132 years of our history was omitted from the Marshals Service official history book.
Subsequent events, such as the bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, the 911 event in New York in 2001, and the execution of Timothy McVeigh in 2007 in Indiana, heightened his desire to publish the book. He wanted to insure that it was recorded that numerous African-American Marshals were serving this country in strategic positions in our government during the worse terrorist attack in the history of our country.
Finally, on behalf of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, he received an inquiry from the secretary of the United States Senate inquiring if an African-American had ever been appointed Marshal from the state of Massachusetts. After that call, he was thoroughly convinced that there was a need for this history book to be published.
“The President’s Men: Black United States Marshals in America.”
History books, television and movies have shaped the images of how we think U.S Marshals look––These Books, Movies & Televisions productions have introduced Matt Dillon of the T.V. Series” Gun smoke,” and the recent movies the “Fugitive” chasing Dr. Kimble, (Harrison Ford) and the “U S. Marshals,” chasing a black fugitive played by (Wesley Snipes) have not told us the whole truth. Even the Marshal Service official history book have not presented an accurate picture of the brave people who help shape this nation while serving this nation as deputy United States Marshals and Presidential appointed Marshals. These images and lack of information has created a, “ Certain Blindness” in the African American Communities and the larger society about the participation of black men and women in the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the nation who have contributed to the building of this nation—
The New Black History/Political Book entitled “The President’s Men: Black United States Marshal in America,” will shatter these old images of how we think U.S. Marshals look and leave readers asking the question, how could 132 year of these men and women’s history, who were appointed by our Presidents, be summarizes in two and one half sentences in the Marshals Service official history book.
The President’s Men: Black United States Marshals in America explodes with new findings about Black U.S. marshals, whose contributions and achievements were once summarized by only two-and-one-half sentences in the official record book about U.S. Marshals. Presidential approved and appointed; the book explains that they were his men and women to marshal in law enforcement. The book is a twelve years’ research journey by Robert Moore, author, who became the second African-American from Illinois to be appointed to the position of an U.S. Marshal in 1994 by President Bill Clinton.
The President’s Men: Black United States Marshals in America gives new insight into the oldest law enforcement agency in the nation and will introduced readers to the 66 prestigious black men and women who have received these appointments from only nine presidents since the inception of the Marshal Service in 1789. Readers will be shocked to learn that Frederick Douglass, appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877 was the first African American to be appointed a United States Marshals and that it would be 85 years before another African American, (Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Moore), would be appointed to this position in 1962 by President Kennedy. Readers will also be inspired and motivated by the story of Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, one of the first black deputy marshals appointed in 1875, by Judge Isaac Parker in the Western District of Arkansas. Reeves served 32 years as a federal marshal. He is credited with killing fourteen men in the line of duty, arresting his own son for murder and making over 3000 other arrest.
The President’s Men: Black United States Marshals in America will give readers an inside look a why the Washington, DC Bar Associations opposed Marshal Douglass nomination and what major newspaper was a part of an attempt to have President Hayes remove Douglass from office after he was confirm as Marshal for the District of Columbia. Readers will be able to read Marshal Douglass letter to the editor of this major newspaper defending himself. You will also gain insight into the author fight to save his nomination in Springfield, Illinois, 116 years after Marshal Douglass successful fight in 1877 and the role three prominent U.S. Senators played in saving their nomination.
The President’s Men: Black United States Marshals in America is a book that fills in what history left out. It gives a clear historical picture of the selection of African-American Marshals by Democrat and Republican Parties’ presidents in the 222-year history of these appointments. A history book for all ages, it may be used by libraries, high schools, colleges–for law enforcement studies, Black History, American History courses, and political science instructions.
Have thing Changed a lots since then—
On October 1,1962 when James Meredith walked into the doors at Lyceum Hall at Ole Miss to register, the significant of his achievement were impossible to absorb, however, for those of us that were shackled by discriminatory laws, policies and practice, that too many of us were ignorant of, his efforts meant that at Ole Miss, he crushed forever the southern Strategy of “Massive resistance” to integration and opened the doorway of American History through which all the epic civil rights events of the 1960s would follow.
It meant that people like Reverend Clemmons King who walked through those same door in 1958 to try and register for class register, want be seize by the police and packed off to an insane asylum, it meant that black police candidates in Jackson, Mississippi could be hired in 1963 as police officers, It meant that the author could return to Mississippi 40 years later as the 25th chief of Police of Jackson and purchase a home in the neighborhood of his choice
It means that the Chew family who grew up in Pontotoc, Mississippi can have 5or 6 members of their family be graduates of Ole Miss.
The measurement of change generated by Mr. Meredith stand and the good work of many other people is still being evaluated, was the goal of segregationist to keep the school kids in separate school or keep the races separate. Opportunities for most people achieved, integration of schools perhaps reversed.