April 18, 2019  

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‘Lost Bodies and Stolen History: Slavery and Memory in Mississippi’ lecture Feb. 23 begins University Libraries’ Mississippi Bicentennial Events Series

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This year marks Mississippi’s bicentennial, and University Libraries’ Special Collections at The University of Southern Mississippi is hosting a series of events highlighting Mississippi’s 200-year history. The series kicks off with “Lost Bodies and Stolen History: Slavery and Memory in Mississippi,” a lecture by Southern Miss History Professor Dr. Max Grivno, set for Thursday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Cook Library Art Gallery. Admission is free.

In his lecture, Dr. Grivno will use the defacing of markers commemorating the murder of Emmett Till as a starting point for a discussion of how the state has attempted to obscure the histories of the black Mississippians whose bodies were broken, and whose histories were erased, over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. He will also explore how those histories were expunged and sanitized in various settings, ranging from textbooks, to official state histories, and museums.

Other events in the spring will include an exhibit highlighting Parchman, Mississippi’s state penitentiary, a lecture by biographer, Carolyn Brown; a lecture on Mississippi’s first newspaper; and a panel discussion on Parchman. A series of events will follow in the summer and fall semesters, focusing on a multifaceted view of Mississippi’s first 200 years.

After Dr. Grivno’s lecture, the spring series includes the following events:

*March 1 – 31: “Parchman: An Exhibit” Cook Library lobby, USM Hattiesburg campus

*March 24, 5:30 p.m.: Presentation - “The Artist's Sketch: A Biography of Painter Kate Freeman Clark,” Oddfellows Gallery, 119 East Front St., downtown Hattiesburg; guest speaker: Carolyn Brown     

*March 30, 6 p.m.:  Panel discussion: “Justice in the Mississippi State Penitentiary:
Past reflections, present challenges and future directions” International Center, Room 410, Hattiesburg campus

*March 31, 10 a.m.: Big House Books Volunteer Event Cook Library Art Gallery, Hattiesburg campus

*March 31 - April 1: Special Collections at Mississippi Coast Bicentennial Celebration
Centennial Plaza, Gulfport

*April 20, 6 p.m.: The First Newspapers in Mississippi, presented by Dr. David R. Davies
Cook Library Art Gallery, Hattiesburg campus

This series aims to present a multifaceted view of Mississippi’s first 200 years. To achieve its goals of bringing history to life, Special Collections has partnered with numerous individuals and entities, including at the University and in the Hattiesburg community. Those partners include Big House Books; Camp Shelby’s Armed Forces Museum; the Hattiesburg Public Library; Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel; the Mississippi Department of Archives and History; Oddfellows Gallery; and the USM departments of History; Political Science, International Development and International Affairs and School of Criminal Justice.

For more information, contact Lorrain Stuart at 601.266.4117 or email Lorraine.Stuart@usm.edu; Jennifer Brannock at 601.266.4347 or email Jennifer.Brannock@usm.edu; or visit http://lib.usm.edu/about_us/news/msbicentennial.html.