The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) hosted a Folklife and Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi Panel Discussion on Thursday, April 28th in Dumas Hall from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. The event showcased an intersection of traditional arts, community and Civil Rights history.
There were three panels which included Dr. Dave and Patty Crosby, “Victory Day in Port Gibson”, Dr. J. Janice Coleman, “Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs: Reflections on the B.B. King Blues Cotton Sack”, and Dr. Constance Bailey, “Keeping the Civil Rights Movement Alive: Black Spring Break.”
“Victory Day in Port Gibson”, presented by Dr. Dave and Patty Crosby, gave insight to the celebration that honors the relentless fight against oppression that was witnessed in Claiborne County. The visual presentation displayed images of protesters who marched for their rights in Port Gibson in 1982.
“Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs: Reflections on the B.B. King Blues Cotton Sack” by Dr. J. Janice Coleman, Professor of English at Alcorn State University (ASU), gave a spotlight to the late Blues musician B.B. King and also highlighted the activist side of his career. Dr. Coleman, along with a few of her English students, exhibited her hand-made, B.B. King-inspired quilt which was carried as a “cotton sack” in the beginning of her exhibition.
The last presentation, “Keeping the Civil Rights Movement Alive: Black Spring Break,” was given by Dr. Constance Bailey, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Bailey stressed the importance of why events such as Black Beach and Black Spring Break should be recognized publicly compared to other Mississippi festivals and recreations.
“It’s really educational because I’m from Port Gibson. Hearing Dr. Crosby talk about the history, the Civil Rights, and also seeing the pictures, gave me more insight about my community. It really affected me emotionally because I live there,” said Dr. Anne-Marie Obilade, Interim Chair of English, Languages and Mass Communications and Associate Professor of English.
For more details regarding the discussion, contact Maria Zeringue, Folk and Traditional Arts Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission at email@example.com.