Visit Us!

April 25th, 2018 by margaretwalker

To visit the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, contact the staff of the
Margaret Walker Center at 601-979-3935 or mwa@jsums.edu.

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The Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO

The Institute for Social Justice and Race Relations And the College of Education and Human Development Hosts

The JSU Campus Reading Community Book Discussion

Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates”


The Jackson State University Campus Reading Community was launched in Fall 2010 here at Jackson State University. Its vision is to inspire reading throughout the JSU campus and the surrounding community.  Having discussed books such as Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr , The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois, Lynch Street by Tim Spofford, Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr by Michael V. Williams, and James Meredith: Warrior and the America That Created Him, by Meredith Coleman McGee,   this Reading Community has been a way to stimulate the intellectual discourse on the campus and surrounding communities.

Please join us Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO exhibit room.

In this session of the 2015-2016 academic year, The JSU Campus Reading Community will discuss the book, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Between the World and Me is written as a letter to the author's teenage son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being black in the United States. Coates recapitulates the American history of violence against black people and the incommensurate policing of black youth. A common theme is his fear of bodily harm. Coates draws from an abridged, autobiographical account of his youth in Baltimore. The work takes inspiration from James Baldwin's 1963 The Fire Next Time. Like Baldwin, Coates does not share in traditional black Christian rhetoric of uplift, and more bleakly believes that no major change in racial justice is likely to come.

This book was written as an open letter from the author to his 15 year old son in hopes that he could begin to understand race in the world as a person of color. "I tell you now that the question of how one should live within a black body, within a country lost in the Dream, is the question of my life… " boldly written with instances we can all relate to as men of color in our pursuit of the American Dream.says Dr. Rodney Washington, Associate Professor, Elementary & Early Childhood, College of Education and Human Development, Jackson State University.

For more information or if you have any questions regarding the Series, please feel free to contact us at 601-979-1563 or 601-979-4348 or email: COFO.Center@jsums.edu

Please visit: www.jsums.edu/HamerInstitute for more details.


Between the World and Me

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An Evening with Judge Carlton Reeves

April 2nd, 2015 by fannielou

In response to the continuing denial of the right to vote and the shooting death of local protestor Jimmy Lee Jackson in February, 1965, citizens from Dallas County, Alabama and SNCC and SCLC activists scheduled a protest march from Selma to Montgomery for March 7th. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, as protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were met with resistance and blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police. The protesters were ordered to turn around; when they refused, they were met with teargas and beaten savagely and violently. Because of the televised brutality, the day was referred to as “Bloody Sunday.” Although President Lyndon Johnson had signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 just months before, the ultimate march from Selma to Montgomery on March 21st was instrumental in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The 50th Commemoration of the march in Selma Alabama provided the impetus to host an evening with Judge Carlton Reeves on Tuesday, April 7th, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO. During this evening, Judge Carlton Reeves will engage the community in a dialogue regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and his recent sentencing of the defendants responsible for the death of James Anderson in 2011. In conjunction with Judge Reeves' comments, there will also be a panel of students to discuss the College of Liberal Arts sojourn to Birmingham in 2013 through this year's travel to Selma, Alabama. 

Judge Carlton Reeves

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Join us Tuesday, March 24, 2015, for the second in a three-part series, 

Murder, Mayhem, and Lynching: Constructing Race, Class, and Gender in America

with Dr. Deborah H. Barnes, Associate Professor of English at Jackson State University. 

This event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO

located at 1017 John R. Lynch Street on the JSU Campus.

The Furrow of His Brow: The Lost History of Black Lynch Mobs

In this discussion, Dr. Barnes will explore little known lore about African American lynch mobs, which, like their white counterparts, were committed to keeping the peace, insuring communal protection, and establishing standards for acceptable behavior.


The final lecture will be held on: Tuesday, March 31, 2015; 6 p.m., at Gallery1

Written in Blood: Discourses of Lynching
Lynching culture and racial violence were normalized and spread through newspaper coverage, published accounts, photographs, ballads, art and memorabilia.

The first discussion was held on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at the Margaret Walker Center. Titled, The Noose and Pyre: Lynching and Racial Violence as Social Control, Dr. Barnes took a new look at lynching culture and practice during the nadir of American race relations. Barnes further examined the strategic use of racial violence against people of color as a means to construct “whiteness.”

These events are free and open to the public.

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