I’m honored that part 2 of 4 of the series on the Confederate monument in Hattiesburg is now up at the Pine Belt News. Here, Professor Sturkey and I look specifically at the context of its creation — the politics of early 1900s Mississippi, the local individuals and organizations involved in its construction, and of course, the rhetoric of the Lost Cause. They say all politics is local, but the historical context of these monuments proves the opposite: this monument was part of a concerted effort across the South to glorify a past that never was.
The full article is available here. Thanks as always to the editors of the Pine Belt News for this partnership, and to all our readers.
This weekend, as libraries still remain closed, I’m honored to join the virtual version of the Poetry Buffet with poets Nordette Adams, Michael Tod Edgerton, and Randolph Thomas, curated by Gina Ferrara. The reading starts as always at 2pm; more information and how to join via Zoom are available here.
Over the past few weeks, despite so much struggle and suffering taking place across the country, it’s been wonderful to watch these renewed calls for replacing our old, outdated state symbols in favor of something new, inclusive, and forward-thinking for all Mississippians. The movement is gaining momentum, but there’s still more work to do. Which is why I’m proud to join my colleague and fellow historian @william_sturkey on a new series of articles educating the public of Hattiesburg and Forrest County on the long history of Hattiesburg’s Confederate monument, and calling for its relocation — a measure already backed by the City Council. More to come soon from a variety of different Hattiesburg area outlets, but we believe in this effort, and we’re honored to enter into this debate in civil, honest, and most of all, respectful ways.
Watch this space.
Amid these trying times, we have to find rays of hope. Though A Studio in the Woods wasn’t able to dedicate its beautiful new Writer’s Cabin due to the coronavirus, that hasn’t stopped the rest of its plans from going forward. Applications for its first round of Emerging Writers Residencies are open until April 13 — if you’re early in your career and need a week in the woods to focus on your manuscript, the Studio is actively seeking your application for its 2020-2021 season. Full details are available here.