Archive for November, 2016

On Friday, December 9, at 4 p.m., the Margaret Walker Center will unveil the Julius Thompson Personal Papers and the exhibition "Mississippi Witness: The Life of Julius Thompson" in Ayer Hall on the campus of Jackson State University.


Dr. Julius E. Thompson was professor of history and director of the Black Studies Program at the University of Missouri at Columbia.  Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 15, 1946, Thompson attended elementary and high school in Natchez, Mississippi, and received his BA in history from Alcorn State University (1969). He subsequently earned his MA (1971) and PhD (1973) in American history at Princeton University where his adviser was James M. McPherson. 

Beginning with his PhD dissertation on Hiram R. Revels, Thompson's writings included several works related to Mississippi. Besides his work on Revels, published in 1982, other works included The Black Press in Mississippi, 1865–1985: A Directory (1988), The Black Press in Mississippi, 1865–1985 (1993), and Percy Greene and the Jackson Advocate: The Life and Times of a Radical Conservative Black Newspaperman, 1897–1977 (1994). Thompson's other books related to the African-American experience in the Mississippi were Black Life in Mississippi: Essays on Political, Social, and Cultural Studies in a Deep South State (2001) and Lynching in Mississippi: A History, 1865–1965 (2006).

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Professor Barron Banks of the Department of History and Philosophy and Ms. Angela Stewart will moderate a panel of several local politicians.

Nov 14 election forum announcement



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From MWC: Margaret Walker on the 1980 Election

November 10th, 2016 by history

On "Tuesday morning November 11, 1980," thirty-six years ago tomorrow, Margaret Walker remarked in her personal journals that "A week ago today the presidential election gave Ronald Reagan the victory and he is president-elect to become the 40th president of the U.S.A.  The so-called landslide left many Americans and almost all Black Americans stunned by the conservative reactionary rhetoric. It does not appear to have been a free election, and one wonders if there will ever again be free elections in this country.  It seems more like a coup d'etat–a juggernaut steamrolling over everything and everybody much in the manner of the Nixon elections in 1968 and 1972.  All kinds of irregularities are slowly developing.  There are many questions about what really happened.  Most of these are merely conjectures.  We really do not know, but we suspect that a tremendous organized effort by a combination or mixture of Republican Party people, the moral majority, extremists and such fringes as the Ku Klux Klan plus the powerful California Mafia, an organization of Big Money and Business in California with both underworld and syndicated tactics, contacts and finances….

"Black people are probably in the most untenable position.  It is generally well known that the masses of Black people have voted twice for Carter, once he won, and once he lost….

"Of course, we know God is still in charge.  This is my Father's world and nothing can change His love and care for all His children.

"Tomorrow marks two weeks since my husband's funeral.  This trip is an effort to pick up the broken pieces of my heart and my life and try with God's help to go on and in my beloved Alex's word, 'try to live.'"


Visit the Margaret Walker Center to view the Margaret Walker Personal Papers and its other collections, or go to to search nearly 35,000 digitized items in the Margaret Walker Personal Papers Digital Archives Project.

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Ad for Election Night 2016 viewing party

Watch the election all night at the Mississippi e-Center@JSU, 1230 Raymond Road.  Coverage will start at 6:30 pm.  Faculty, commentators, and broadcasters will provide insightful coverage on the national and local races. 


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The Margaret Walker Center invites proposals for papers, presentations, and panels for the 11thAnnual Creative Arts Festival to be submitted by Friday, March 10, 2017.  While the theme of the conference is “Callaloo: 40 Years of Publishing the African Diaspora,” the organizers welcome proposals from high school, undergraduate, and graduate students on any topic.

Proposal submissions should be 250-500 words and should fit in one of four categories:

  1. Poetry/Spoken Word (10-15-minute presentations in original storytelling or poetry, including brief comments about inspiration &/or form of the work)
  2. Visual Arts (up to 3 pieces of artwork in any media with 10-minute presentations)
  3. Written (10-page essays with 20-minute presentations)
  4. Performing Arts (10-minute dance, musical, and theatrical presentations)

In the case of panel proposals, please submit the names of the participants and the moderator and a brief synopsis of the panel’s topic and of the individual paper proposals.


To submit a proposal, please send a document in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF to

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JSU theater presents The WIZ – Nov. 3-7, 2016

November 4th, 2016 by history


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