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2022 CASE Festival

The Margaret Walker Center is pleased to announce the schedule of events for the 16th Annual Creative Arts & Scholarly Engagement (CASE) Festival, featuring musical greats Cassandra Wilson, Nellie Mack, Rhonda Richmond, and Yvonne “Niecie” Evers, scheduled to be held in a hybrid format, virtually and in-person, on Friday and Saturday, April 8 & 92022.

These events are made possible by the general support of the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Greater Jackson Arts Council.

All events are free and open to the public, and all plenary sessions will be livestreamed on the Margaret Walker Center Facebook and YouTube pages.

The conference theme, “Past, Present, Future: A Legacy in Music,” recognizes music as a universal language that has had and continues to have a strong influence and role in many events and situations across time and place. We can mark events, recognize people, and express emotions and ideals through the diversity of music we create or that we engage as we traverse our individual and collective journeys. As such, the 2022 CASE Festival will examine the impact and importance of music (and the entertainment industry) on society in regards to such dynamics as gender, race, culture, politics, health, and education.

At 2 p.m., Friday, April 8, the opening CASE Festival plenary will engage four Mississippi music legends and JSU alumna–Cassandra Wilson, Nellie Mack, Rhonda Richmond, and Yvonne “Niecie” Evers–in a conversation facilitated by professor C. Liegh McInnis. Together at Jackson State, they comprised the band Past, Present, and Future. This event will be livestreamed on the Margaret Walker Center Facebook and YouTube pages.

We are sorry to announce that the second plenary will have to be cancelled. It was scheduled to be livestreamed at 5 p.m. on Friday, with hip hop scholar Charlie Braxton and Dr. Regina N. Bradley, an alumna Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow (Hutchins Center, Harvard University, Spring 2016), Associate Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University, a faculty editor for Southern Cultures journal, and co-host of the critically acclaimed southern hip hop podcast Bottom of the Map with music journalist Christina LeeHer 2021 book, Chronicling Stankonia: the Rise of the Hip-Hop South, was named the best music book of the year by Rolling Stone.

On Saturday, April 9, the CASE Festival will shift to an hybrid in-person and virtual convening with a welcome breakfast and reception at the Margaret Walker Center in Ayer Hall on the Jackson State campus at 8:30 a.m.

Student presentations during concurrent sessions will begin in multiple locations at 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Two plenary sessions will highlight the day on Saturday, including a special visual arts presentation, Centering Creation, at 10:30 a.m. in the College of Liberal Arts, featuring daniel johnson, the Mellon Graduate Assistant at the Margaret Walker Center; Kat Wright, Public Art Director, City of Chattanooga; and Vicki Meek, Art League of Houston, 2021 Texas Artist of the Year.

Kat Wright

Vicki Meek

The closing plenary will feature the annual $1,000 Margaret Walker Award for the best essay by a JSU student as well as the $500 Dr. Doris Derby Social Justice and Visual Arts Award, to be presented for the first time since the passing of Dr. Derby in March 2022. Please make plans to join us for a free boxed lunch served in Ayer Hall.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Past, Present, Future: A Legacy in Music
Plenary Session

Rhonda Richmond, Nellie Mack, Cassandra Wilson, Yvonne “Niecie” Evers
Moderated by C. Liegh McInnis
Margaret Walker Center Facebook and YouTube
2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.

Keynote Conversation  CANCELLED
Plenary Session

Charlie Braxton and Regina Bradley
Margaret Walker Center Facebook and YouTube
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Registration and Q&A: Continental Breakfast
Ayer Hall, Jackson State University
8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Concurrent Session I
9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Panel 1: Poetry, Spoken Word, Written
Virtual Only: Zoom (Meeting ID: 812 9151 3484)

Black in a White Wasteland
Darius Grant, Jackson State University

Voices through Time
Jordyn Hill, Jackson State University

The History of Music: The Southern Influence
Jada Bronson, Jackson State University

Moderator: Johnnie Robinson, Jackson State University


Panel 2: Written
Johnson Hall Art Gallery

Thelma Collins: HERstory
Aisha Saffold, Jackson State University

When Skin-Color and Gender Determine Worth
Chris Winter, Jackson State University

Singing Ʋba Isht Taloa Holisso
Choctaw Christian sacred songs, 1820-present
Sarah Waters, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Moderator: Tiffany Caesar, Jackson State University


Panel 3: Written
Ayer Hall Reading Room, 2nd Floor 

Southern Hospitality
Iyanna Sobers, Jackson State University

Unpeacefully Resting: Critical Race Theory
& the African American Fight against Racism

Shirley Collins, Jackson State University
Mia Thompson, Jackson State University

Reclaiming My Womb
Victoria Washington, Jackson State University

Moderator: Thomas Kersen, Jackson State University


Panel 4: Written, Phi Alpha Theta
Hybrid: Ayer Hall Conference Room, 4th Floor and Zoom (Meeting ID: 875 4492 2866)

Civil Liberties and Marginalization

“Sole and Separate”: The Progression of Married
Women’s Property Rights in the State of Mississippi
Maggie Ellis, Mississippi University for Women

The Guarani and the Jesuit Expulsion
Caleb Bates, Jackson State University

Freedom of Speech and the Abolitionist Movement
Todd McInnis, Mississippi College

The Silent Killer
Chastity Quick, Jackson State University

Moderator: Janice Brockley, Jackson State University

Plenary Session
Centering Creation
daniel johnson, Mellon Graduate Assistant, Margaret Walker Center

Kat Wright, Public Art Director, City of Chattanooga
Vicki Meek, Art League of Houston, 2021 Texas Artist of the Year
JSU College of Liberal Arts, room 166/266
Margaret Walker Center Facebook and YouTube

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Ayer Hall Gallery, 2nd Floor
12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Concurrent Session 2
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Panel 5: Poetry, Spoken Word, Creative Writing
Ayer Hall Reading Room, 2nd Floor

My People, Our Past!
Jessica Johnson, Jackson State University

Teacake Memories
Aisha Saffold, Jackson State University

Bury My Body Down by the Highway Side
Maya McFadden, Murrah High School

Jesus and Joe
McKenna Light, Jackson State University

Moderator: Shanna Smith, Jackson State University


Panel 6: Visual Arts
Ayer Hall Gallery, 2nd Floor

Finding Your Photographic Vision
Jasmine Johnson, Jackson State University

Music across the African Diaspora
Juliana Rincon, Jackson State University

The Seeds Planted
Tyler Duncan, Jackson State University

Moderator: Brittany Myburgh, Jackson State University


Panel 7: Written, Phi Alpha Theta
Hybrid: Ayer Hall Conference Room, 4th Floor, and Zoom (Meeting ID: 817 6195 2938)

African American Perspectives

Digital Storytelling: A History of
Enslaved Christian Women in Antebellum Mississippi
Ellen Quinn, Mississippi College

African Americans in Sandusky, Ohio
Michelle Rankins, Jackson State University

Oscar Micheaux and the Myth of the American West
Chris DiGiovanni, Jackson State University

Moderator: Daphne Chamberlain, Tougaloo College


Panel 8: Written, Phi Alpha Theta
Johnson Hall Art Gallery

The Social Impact of Slavery

Skin Color, Scars, and Slavery’s Silences:
Describing Runaways and Constructing Race
in the Bahama Islands, 1783-1807
Matthew Drew, Mississippi College

Foundations of Mississippi
Slavery, Christianity, and Crisis

Drew Gardner, Jackson State University

Slavery and Social Order in Rome
Jordan Cobb, Mississippi College

Moderator: Melissa Jones, Mississippi College

Closing Reception and Awards
JSU String Ensemble: Adoration by Florence Price

            Azaiah Ambrose (Violin), Kiden-Aloyse Smith (Violin), Darren Smith (Violin),
Monet Spencer (Violin), Stephanie Hughes (Viola), Dorien Bruce (Bassoon)
Tyler Dennis, Violin: Courante from Partita No. 1 in B Minor by Bach
$1,000 Margaret Walker Award
$500 Doris Derby Social Justice and Visual Arts Award
JSU College of Liberal Arts, room 166/266
Margaret Walker Center Facebook and YouTube

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Past, Present, and Future
A Legacy in Music