University Libraries to Host Talk on Civil Rights and the Mississippi Press

News item published on: 2014-09-11 12:15:31

The University Libraries at the University of Southern Mississippi will sponsor the final talk of the Created Equal film discussion and lecture series on Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 6-7 p.m. in Cook Library Room 123.

The lecture, The Mississippi Press and the Civil Rights Movement, will focus on how the Mississippi press reflected the Magnolia State’s reaction to and accommodation of social change.

A few moderate newspapers backed equal treatment for the state’s African-Americans, but most reflected the Closed Society’s skepticism of any challenge to the racial status quo. The presentation will explore the range of press response to the Second Reconstruction as a reflection of Mississippi’s eventual accommodation to demands for social justice.

Dave Davies is interim director of the School of Mass Communication & Journalism. He also has served as dean of the Southern Miss Honors College. Most of all, he likes to think of himself as a “recovering journalist.” He worked for 10 years in Arkansas media, most recently the Arkansas Gazette, before joining the ranks of academia. He’s worked at Southern Miss since 1991, starting out as adviser to the Student Printz and serving stints as chair of the Department of Journalism, and associate dean of the College of Arts & Letters. He holds a PhD from the University of Alabama. Davies specializes in media history and is working on his third book, an analysis of press coverage of race for Northwestern University Press.

In collaboration with the Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County, University Libraries will offer scholarly presentations and documentaries that feature riveting, never before seen footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America through September as part of the Created Equal project.

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the NEH that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the recipients of the grant.

For more information about this talk or the lecture series, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.