[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 45 No. 4  |  April 2003

Medgar Evers: “An Ordinary Man with Uncommon Courage”

Historian Manning Marable spoke to a capacity crowd at the inaugural Medgar Evers Lecture March 17 about the meaning of black history for all Americans. Marable said that black history is perhaps the most American part of our history, since “the most oppressed of us have been the real architects of demo-cracy.”

Myrlie Evers-Williams, founder of the Medgar Evers Institute, introduced Marable, and Governor William Winter was master of ceremonies. Winter introduced Myrlie Evers, calling her  “one of my heroes.”

“She has a right to be the bitterest person,” he said, “but she came to understand that bitterness never lifted up a child, or built a school, or righted a wrong. . . . She never gave up on her home state or the people who live there.”

Marable, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, told the students in the audience that they shouldn’t see Medgar Evers or Martin Luther King as anything more than human, but as individuals who were able to transcend doubts and fears and create history anew. They died, he said, “not just for the freedom of black people but for the freedom of all people.”

The inaugural lecture was co-sponsored by the Medgar Evers Institute and MDAH, with partial funding provided by the Mississippi Humanities Council, Communication Arts Company, and the Historic Natchez Foundation. For more information, call 601/359-6850.

A Saturday with Shakespeare

All ages are invited to see the Mississippi College Tribal Players perform scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 12, at the Manship House Museum. It’s free. For more information call 601/ 941-4724.

Bygone Crafts

On Saturday, April 26, children ages five to twelve can learn to make crafts from bygone eras. Crafts from the Past workshops are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History, Jackson, and they’re free. For more information call 601/ 359-6920.

New Books


10 Most Endangered Unveiling

The unveiling of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places will take place at the Naval Reserve building in downtown Jackson on Thursday, April 24, at 7 p.m. It’s one of the best parties of the year: food, music, dancing, and a silent auction of paintings of the 10 Most Endangered Properties produced especially for this event by well known Mississippi artists—Wyatt Waters, Elizabeth Johnson, Ron Lindsey, Briar Jones, and more. The list is produced every other year to raise awareness about the threat to Mississippi’s most endangered historic places. Tickets to the fundraiser are $25 for members and $35 for non-members of the Mississippi Heritage Trust. For more information call the Trust at 601/ 354-0200.

Grant Projects Completed

Four of the nineteen projects funded through the Museum Grant Act, established by the Mississippi Legislataure, have been completed. The Northeast Mississippi Museum, Corinth ($30,000), has completed planning for interpretive exhibits after the museum’s anticipated move into the historic Corinth Depot. The Historic DeSoto Mu-seum,Hernando ($110,000), has completed Phase I of a project to renovate the museum building, and the Museum opened to the public on March 1. Tougaloo Art Museum, Jackson ($75,000), has completed architectural pre-planning and museum interpretive planning for a project to renovate the Brownlee Gymnasium to house the Tougaloo College art collection. The Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, Biloxi ($100,000), has developed, constructed, and installed  exhibits.


Experience Mississippi Conference

The Mississippi Heritage Trust and MDAH are cosponsoring the annual Experience Mississippi Historic Preservation Conference in Jackson, Friday, April 25. The theme of the conference will be “Historic Neighborhoods,” featuring tours of the Medgar Evers Historic District and Belhaven and Belhaven Heights historic districts in Jackson. A special session, “Preservation Efforts in the Belhaven Historic District,” will precede the afternoon tour of the neighborhood. Registration, $40 for the conference (including lunch), is held 8:30-9:00 a.m. at the Standard Oil building, 600 E. Amite Street. Tickets to the luncheon alone (at Hal & Mal’s Restaurant) are $15. For more information call 601/ 354-0200.

SPECIAL OFFER: A package deal of $60 includes admission to both the 10 Most Endangered unveiling (Thursday evening, April 24) and the Experience Mississippi Preservation Conference (Friday, April 25).

Port Gibson Civil War Symposium

H. Grady Howell, Gordon Cotton, Robert M. Walker, and Libby Shaifer Hollingsworth will be among the speakers at the Port Gibson Civil War Symposium, to be held Saturday, May 3, 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 605 Church Street. Registration is $20, and full scholarships are available to all students. For more information, call 601/ 437-4500.

The Southern Regional Cemetery Monument Conservation Seminar and Workshop will be held in Natchitoches, LA, May 13-15. The Tuesday, May 13, seminar is $60 (students $20); the two-day workshop, May 14-15, is $300 (students $200). For information, please visit the website.

American History Programs at USM

The USM Department of History and its partner, the Hattiesburg Public School District, have been awarded a U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History grant. The grant provides $858,139 to fund a series of colloquia and summer seminars for selected eighth- and eleventh-grade American history teachers. The program, the brainchild of Senator Robert Byrd of Virginia, is designed to strengthen the knowledge of American history for teachers. Charles Bolton and Mary Beth Farrell of USM will develop and coordinate the twelve two-day colloquia and three two-week summer institutes over the next three years. The Old Capitol Museum (MDAH) is also a partner in the program.


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2001 MAY |

Published by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History • Elbert R. Hilliard, director • Chrissy Wilson, editor
Please send correspondence to: MHN, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205 or email to pubinfo@mdah.state.ms.us