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2024 CASE Festival Schedule

From the Super Bowl to the Rose Bowl
JSU Student Center Theater
Streaming on Facebook:

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

Free and open to the public, the 2024 CASE Festival will feature members of the Sonic Boom of the South—Bryan McKinney, Justus Merkerson, Anthony Duncan, and Treasure White—in an opening plenary conversation and reception in the JSU Student Center Theater at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 5. The Sonic Boom made national headlines with a special appearance this year with eight-time Grammy-winning artist Usher during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now, they have been invited to participate in the 136th Tournament of Roses Parade presented by Honda on Wednesday, January 1, 2025, in Pasadena, California.

Thee Road to the Roses: Fundraising Reception
JSU Student Center 2nd Floor Meditation Room
4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Recognizing the significance of this venture, JSU has launched “Thee Road to Roses” fundraising campaign calling on the generosity of supporters, friends, fans and alumni to help the Boom seize the monumental moment and perform on yet another national stage. Free and open to the public, the CASE Festival will host a special fundraising reception for the Sonic Boom immediately following the conversation on the 2nd floor of the JSU Student Center. You can give here.

Saturday, April 6, 2024
Registration and Q&A: Continental Breakfast
JSU Student Center

8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The Margaret Walker Center invited student proposals for papers, presentations, and panels for the 18th Annual CASE Festival. The following schedule reflects those presentations. Although the focus is on Black women writers and the Black Arts Movement, the organizers welcomed proposals from high school, undergraduate, and graduate students on any topic.

Concurrent Session I: Student Presentations
Zoom and JSU Student Center rooms 3210 and 3241
9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Panel 1: Written
JSU Student Center room 3210

The Evolution of Lynchings in Mississippi
Khloe Robinson, JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School

Odysseys of Black Women During the American Civil War
Layah McDonald, Jackson State University

Felony Disfranchisement: The Effect on the Minority Vote
Kennadie Boykin, Helayna Loggins, and Naya Singleton, Jackson State University

Moderator: Christina Thomas, Jackson State University


Panel 2: Written
Hybrid: Zoom & JSU Student Center room 3241

Amira Wallace, Jackson State University

Afro-Alien Catalysts
Avin HannahSmith, Columbia College Chicago

For Colored Girls Writing to the Margin
Zia M. Dione, Pacific University

Moderator: Laura Miller, Jackson State University


Concurrent Session II: Student Presentations
Zoom, Johnson Hall Art Gallery, and JSU Student Center rooms 3241 and 3250
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Panel 3: Visual Arts, Poetry
Johnson Hall Art Gallery

“A Meditation on Greatness”
Anastasia Taylor, Jackson State University

Nykenzie Tillis, JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School

Echoes of the ‘60s and ‘70s: The Black Arts Movement
“Renaissance”               “Love Da Band”                       “Just Charles”

Ty Washington, JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School

Rolling Stone
Devil has his hands on me
The Release
Tyler Goliday, Jackson State University

Moderator: Brittany Myburgh, Jackson State University


Panel 4: Poetry and Storytelling
Hybrid: Zoom and JSU Student Center room 3241

You Tell Me You Love Me
Janeth Jackson, University of Mississippi

Thank You to Those Who Stayed and Those Who Strayed in Mississippi
The Fundamentals of Engineering
Amber Spears, Jackson State University

Moderator: RaShell Smith-Spears, Jackson State University


Panel 5: Written
JSU Student Center room 3250

Me, My Writing, and the South
Kaitlyn Taylor, Jackson State University

Combatting the Miseducation Crisis Through Culturally Relevant Music Education
Nicholas Organ, Jackson State University

Courage, Comfort, and Country: A Mississippian’s Pathway to American Diplomacy
Tiffany Edmondson, Jackson State University

Moderator: Albert Dorsey, Jackson State University


JSU Student Center Ballroom
12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.              


Concurrent Session III: Student Presentations
Zoom and JSU Student Center rooms 3210, 3241, and 3250

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

Panel 6: Written
Hybrid: Zoom & JSU Student Center room 3241

The Bottom of the Totem Pole
Miriam Howard, Jackson State University

Francisco by Alison Mills Newman
Original Cover Photo: The Freedom Principle of Jazz in the form of Black Love
Leaf H. Seeney, Georgia State University

James Weldon Johnson and the Harlem Renaissance
Abhijit Sarmah, University of Georgia

Moderator: Janice Brockley, Jackson State University


Panel 7: Poetry, Spoken Word
JSU Student Center room 3210

Obsidian Roots
On This Day
Amira “Noralla” Wallace, Jackson State University

Who Said I Was a Cookie
Madison “Mocha” Hunter, University of Memphis

This Girl’s Been
Sage Martin, Murrah High School

Moderator: Anita DeRouen, Murrah High School


Panel 8: Written
JSU Student Center room 3250

Race, Gender and Intersectionality in U.S. Politics
Ezra Snell, Kennedy Pierce, and Christian Mannery, Jackson State University

Digging up the Past: Researching the Departure of JSU from State Street
Connor Sutton, Millsaps College

Equity vs. Equality: The Struggles of African American History in Public Education
Jeri Hill, Jackson State University

Moderator: Andrew Marion, Millsaps College


Tribute to Sonia Sanchez and Margaret Walker
with Ebony Lumumba, Danielle Littlefield, and Robert Luckett
Keynote Conversation and Closing Awards
JSU Student Center Theater
Streaming on YouTube:

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

The 2024 CASE Festival will close with a conversation about the legacy of Margaret Walker And Sonia Sanchez, world-renowned poet, mother, and professor, who is known for her insights into Black culture and literature, women’s liberation, peace, and racial justice. 

Winners for all awards will also be announced during the Closing Ceremony for the 2024 CASE Festival.

The best essay by a JSU student on the “Black experience in the American South” will receive the $1,000 Margaret Walker Annual Award. Submissions for the Margaret Walker Annual Award can be in various forms, including literary analysis, creative writing, research paper, biographical study, autobiography, and historical study.

The annual $500 Doris Derby Visual Arts and Social Justice Award will be presented to a student at any level from any institution whose contribution best reflects this year’s CASE Festival theme in the category of visual arts, including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, and crafts.



This project is supported in part by funding from
the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part from
the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.