A team of teachers in McComb, Mississippi began the year as historians, combing through primary documents from the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools in a seminar for language arts, history, and science teachers. The seminar used the inquiry-based, hands-on, and reflective pedagogy of the Freedom Schools* so that participants learned about the curriculum not only through the readings, but they also experienced it. Freedom Schools were examined in the context of the long struggle for freedom, voting rights, quality education, and more in Mississippi and the United States as a whole.
On March 5, 2016, the annual Local Mississippi History Awards were given at the Mississippi History Day competition at the University of Southern Mississippi. The goal of the award is to deepen student appreciation of and exploration of the untold stories and role of “everyday people” in local Mississippi history, using the National History Day competition as an incentive and a focus for student projects.
I want to thank the Dahmer family, particularly Ellie Dahmer and the Dahmer children who had to find ways to go on after his life was cut short. They kept his life and legacy in the forefront of our minds. They ensured that those who took his life were prosecuted. I also want to thank Jerry Mitchell, Clarion Ledger investigative reporter, who played a key role in the conviction of the Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard Sam Bowers who ordered the fatal firebombing of the Dahmer family.
At the 2015 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference in New Orleans, Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and Labor History Teacher fellow Anthony Golding and fellowship director Julian Hipkins III presented a workshop on the freedom movement in Mississippi.Hipkins began the session session by engaging participants in a critique of the traditional textbook narrative on the Civil Rights Movement. For example, textbooks mark the launch of the Civil Rights Movement in 1954 with the Brown v. Board ruling, but the struggle began long before that moment.
Juniors and seniors at Ashland High School in Ashland, MS had an opportunity to learn about the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (due to be completed in 2017) from the project manager, Jacqueline Dace on November 4, 2015. The students saw designs of the museum’s interior and exterior plans. Dace also shared a timeline of Mississippi’s Civil Rights Movement history from the 1800s to the present.