Welcome to the monthly newsletter for Mississippi educators with stories and resources for teaching about the Civil Rights Movement and labor history.



Mississippi Teacher Fellows Host Workshops Across the State 

In September, teacher fellows in eight school districts organized full day workshops for teachers and/or students. Their goal was to engage their peers in teaching about the Civil Rights Movement with a focus on Mississippi history and using interactive pedagogy. Fellow Cristina Tosto commented, "The teachers in my school plan on using the lessons from Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching in their curriculum." Marsha McNail noted, "My students are more excited about learning and I am more excited about teaching." Learn more.

Dorie Ladner Day

The Adams County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution proclaiming October 23 as Dorie Ladner Day. Ladner was a student organizer who came to Natchez in the 1960s to help organize civil rights efforts. She will be visiting Natchez for the first time since the 1960s during the weekend of October 23. Learn more

Learning Opportunities

Now is the time to begin preparation for National History Day. Your students can join half a million students nationwide in learning invaluable research skills and having a chance to compete nationally. The first step is to select a topic related to this year's theme. (See suggested Mississippi history topics.) Our staff is available to provide coaching for projects related to Mississippi history.
Congratulations to Mr. Alan Wheat on being selected as the statewide coordinator for National History Day in Mississippi. He follows in the footsteps of Ms. Renee McClendon who led the program with dedication for many years.

Also, apply for Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom and travel to France with one of your students to honor a soldier from your hometown.

Places Art Contest

Children across the state are invited to illustrate and submit their choice for the most groundbreaking place in Mississippi history. Apply by March 28, 2016Learn more

Join Civil Rights Teaching Statewide Learning Community 

Mississippi public middle and high school teachers are invited to apply for the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and Labor History Teacher Fellowship.

Learn more and apply.


Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer,  
Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes tells the story of Fannie Lou Hamer in a lilting, poetic form. It is infused with Hamer's own quotes and colloquial style that defined her skill as a leader and voice of the Civil Rights Movement. This new book charts Hamer's life growing up in a sharecropping family to her run for the Mississippi State Senate. Although a picture book, educators should know that it delves into mature topics such as Hamer's forced sterilization.


Rosenwald is a new documentary film about how philanthropist Julius Rosenwald joined with African-American communities in the South to build 5,500 schools during the early part of the 20th century. 

This includes 633 schools and ancillary buildings in Mississippi, the South's second-largest state program. Learn more

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Blacks were robbed of their land across the United States, including Mississippi, through a variety of techniques. Here are three resources to teach about this chapter of U.S. history and how it relates to wealth inequality today.

Crossroads at Clarksdale: 
The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II

Weaving national narratives from stories of the daily lives and familiar places of local residents, Françoise Hamlin's new book chronicles the slow struggle for Black freedom through the history of Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Learn more.

Confederate Emblem in Mississippi's Flag

About 400 people took part in a change-the-flag rally outside the Mississippi Capitol, calling for removal of the Confederate battle emblem. 

Students at the University of Mississippi voted to seek removal of the state flag from campus grounds. 

Country rockers Steve Earle & The Dukes released a song exhorting Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.

A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer

A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer offers rare and historically significant footage of Freedom Summer, including Freedom Schools. View the film online for free.

The Clinton Riot of 1875

September 4, 2015 marked the 140th anniversary of the Clinton Riot in which as many as fifty people were killed, most of whom were African American men. As part of the commemoration of the riot, the city hosted a symposium to educate the community about the history and unveiled two new historical markers. The Clinton Riot served as the initiation of the infamous Mississippi Plan and the beginning of the end of Reconstruction in Mississippi. Learn more.


Mississippi Council for the Social Studies (MCSS) Fall Conference 2015  
November 5, 2015 

MCSS will offer a variety of professional development sessions for elementary, middle, and secondary teachers on November 5. Learn more.  
Hardship, Conflict, and Change: Mississippi, 1930-1954 
November 6, 2015 

Learn more on November 6 about Mississippi history from the Great Depression through Brown v. Board. Participants receive resources to help teach these subjects in the classroom. Learn more
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) 
November 13-15, 2015 

This annual conference includes dozens of workshops on Civil Rights Movement and labor history. This is an ideal year for Mississippi teachers near New Orleans to attend. Learn more.

In Memory

Everett Parker

The legendary media activist Everett Parker died on September 17 at the age of 102. In the 1960s he led an effort to have the license of a Jackson, Miss., TV station revoked for attempting to squelch the voices of the civil rights movement. Learn more.

Alice Thompson

Alice Thompson died August 24, in New Orleans at the age of 75. She was part of a tightly knit group of young New Orleanians who risked their lives in the early 1960s as they attempted to desegregate local businesses such as McCrory's, Woolworth's and the Loews Theater. Learn more.


Herbert Lee
Herbert Lee

On September 25, 1961, Herbert Lee, a farmer who worked with voting rights activist Robert Parris Moses to help register Black voters, was killed in broad daylight by state legislator E. H. Hurst in Liberty, Mississippi.

Hurst claimed self-defense and was acquitted by a coroner's jury the same day as the killing.

Louis Allen, who witnessed the shooting, was murdered two years later. Here is more information and a lesson for bringing this untold history to the classroom.

Learn more about Lee at the One Person, One Vote website. For more untold history of the fight for voting rights, read "The Voting Rights Act: Ten Things You Should Know."

For More Information
We welcome Civil Rights Movement teaching stories and photos from Mississippi teachers to feature in this monthly e-newsletter. 

To learn more, submit stories, or share comments, write to project director Julian Hipkins III. Hipkins is also available to offer teacher workshops in Mississippi schools and pre- or in-service programs. Learn more here.

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This monthly e-newsletter is produced by Teaching for Change with funding from