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African American Studies Program Hosts Civil Rights Exhibit
"A Decade of Action" highlights Jackson State University as epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson.
The African American Studies program debuted an exhibition entitled “A Decade of Action” in the Leland Speed Library this semester.
The 12 banners lining the library lobby are on loan from the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University. The information and photos featured in the display describe major civil rights events that took place along Lynch Street in Jackson from 1960-1971. The director of the Margaret Walker center, Dr. Robert Luckett, offered for Mississippi College to host the set-up.
Lynch Street, which formerly ran through the Jackson State University campus, is often considered the center of the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson. The banners depict just some of the movement’s major events. These include the Tougaloo Nine, the assassination of Medgar Evers, and Freedom Summer, among others.
Dr. Christian Pinnen and Dr. Kristi Melancon teach African American Studies courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The courses are part of the African American Studies minor, which has been offered for the past two years. Their students were among the first to preview the exhibit, which garnered meaningful responses and furthered the students' civil rights knowledge.
"It is helpful for our African American students on campus to see themselves represented in the historical narrative," said Dr. Melancon.
Courtney Derricks, a senior history major and African American studies minor, became interested in the history and restoration of an African American owned movie theater after walking through the exhibit and listening to a lecture by Dr. Luckett.
"It has opened my eyes to Jackson State a little bit more. Knowing the impact Jackson State had on the civil rights movement showed me all that has happened in Jackson and its possibilities," said Derricks.
The exhibit opened on Sept. 11 and will last through Oct. 13.
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