James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Mississippi Vignettes

First come the vignettes published in Mississippi: Conflict & Change We believed that history comes alive better if some of the characters get presented with some detail. Additional vignettes are by Loewen, mostly from his blog at HNN.

Later Vignettes of Mississippians

How Two Historians Responded to Racism in Mississippi

In 1963, I was a junior at Carleton College in Minnesota. My classmates who majored in French were spending their junior year in France. I was in sociology and had never lived outside the Midwest. “How is that competent?” I asked myself. I did not think it was competent. So I decided to spend part of my “junior year abroad” in Mississippi.

I went to Mississippi State University for the winter quarter, January through March. While there, I audited courses, talked with community leaders in Starkville and Clarksdale, and spent several days as an “exchange student” at Tougaloo College near Jackson and Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, historically black institutions. (I put “exchange student” in quotation marks because no one went the other way, of course. Mississippi State University was then the largest segregated all-white institution of higher learning outside South Africa.) I also got to know two members of Mississippi State’s Department of History.

Read the rest of the story here.

Reminiscence of "Sea-Bass" Moore, white Mississippi lawyer, in the guise of an article about racial composition of juries in South Carolina

I wrote this essay the day after the hung jury in the trial of Michael Slager, the police officer in North Charleston. Slager repeatedly shot the Black driver, 50-year-old Walter Scott, until he was dead, even though the reason for the stop was a broken taillight, and even though Scott was running away from him, after an initial scuffle. The jury had eleven White members and one African American.

How is it possible, one might ask, for a jury in North Charleston, South Carolina, to have just one Black member?

Read the rest of the story here.

Reminiscence of Myrtle Glascoe

I shall here write my reminiscence of Myrtle Glascoe, whose death I mourn. I shall write it as accurately as possible. Myrtle would want me to, and as you will see by the end, we parted as close friends/allies.

Read the rest of the story here.

Haley Barbour's Yazoo City and Mine, kind of a reminiscence of, or comment upon, Mississippi's governor, 2004-2012

The drive was picturesque.  After leaving the Jackson suburbs, Highway 49 was a two-lane road that went up and down the dramatic Loess Hills, covered with kudzu vines, intensely green in early summer.  Right at Yazoo City the Delta begins.  The highway went down a last hill through an attractive white residential neighborhood and reached the vivid contrast of a flat flood plain.  Now, to the right, Yazoo City provided an equally dramatic display of Delta poverty. 

Read the rest of the story here.