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Community Forum "'A Shaky Truce': Civil Rights Struggles in Starkville, MS, 1960-1980"

23 Nov 2015 8:55 AM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)
On Thursday, October 29th, representatives from the MSU History Department and the MSU Libraries hosted a community forum on the history of Starkville’s civil rights movement at the Hilton Garden Inn of Starkville, MS.  The forum was a culmination of the work produced from the Starkville Civil Rightsproject, which began as a partnership in the summer of 2014. This event was funded by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

The forum debuted a new digital history website (http://starkvillecivilrights.msstate.edu) on Starkville’s civil rights movement that includes a searchable collection of oral history interviews with local Starkville participants, archival documents from the Mississippi State University Libraries and other collections, and classroom resources developed with Mississippi teachers in mind.  Hillary Richardson, MSU Libraries Humanities Librarian, welcomed the audience and introduced and Dr. Stuart Rockoff of the Mississippi Humanities Council; Nickoal Eichmann, MSU Libraries History Librarian, gave a preview of the website and highlighted its unique features, and Dr. Judith Ridner, Associate Professor of History, presented on some of the themes from the oral histories themselves.  The forum also featured a panel of historians and project participants who discussed Starkville’s movement and its importance in Mississippi and the nation.  Panelists included Dr. Michael Vinson Williams, Dean of Social Sciences at Tougaloo College; Dr. Stephanie Rolph of Millsaps College; Dr.Shirley Hanshaw of Mississippi State University, who was interviewed for the project; Mr. Chris Taylor, President of the Oktibbeha County chapter of the NAACP, who was also interviewed for the project; and Mr. Nick Timmerman of Mississippi State University, project staff member and moderator of the panel.  

Following the program, audience members had the chance to interact with the Starkville Civil Rights Website and to record their own brief memories of Starkville's civil rights movement for future inclusion in the site.  Recording equipment for the forum was purchased through an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant made available through the Mississippi Library Commission as apart of the Mississippi Library Leadership Institute. The forum was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Mississippi Humanities Council.The representatives from the MSU History department and Libraries are still actively interviewing those who may remember or have participated in Civil Rights struggles in and around Starkville, MS. If you would like to be interviewed, or if you would like to refer someone else who might be interested in participating in an interview, please email starkvillecivilrights@lists.msstate.edu or call (662) 325-2838.

photo by: Megan Bean, Mississippi State University 



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