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Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.Using the tumultuous history of the building as a starting point, the Old Capitol Museum will present The Black Codes to Brown vs. Board of Education on Thursday, February 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Authors Jere Nash and Michael Williams will discuss the struggle for civil and voting rights from 1865 to 1955 in the House Chamber where legislators enacted the 1865 Black Codes to limit the rights of the newly freed slaves, where those same newly freed slaves served in the Legislature during Reconstruction, and where the 1890 Constitution was adopted to disfranchise black Mississippians.

“One can’t fully understand the modern civil rights movement without a firm grasp of the issues and events that occurred right after the Civil War to the 1950s,” said Clay Williams, director, Old Capitol Museum. “I hope this will become an annual event where we can examine key issues like the Black Codes, Constitution of 1890, and Jim Crow that led to the need for the Civil Rights Movement.”

Jere Nash is a political consultant and has served as director of Common Cause in Mississippi, executive director of Mississippi First, deputy state auditor, and director of policy and chief of staff for former Gov. Ray Mabus.

Michael Williams is the dean of social sciences at Tougaloo College and an adjunct professor of history and African American studies at Mississippi State University. He is also the author of the biography Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr. For more information about the program, call 601-576-6920.

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