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Black Studies

Clyde Kennard Lecture

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2023 Lecture: Jarvis R. Givens 

The Center for Black Studies will launch its inaugural Clyde Kennard Lecture this fall. Clyde Kennard was the first African American to attempt enrollment at the segregated Mississippi Southern College in the 1950s (this institution, later becoming The University of Southern Mississippi, was integrated in 1965).

In honor of its namesake, the lecture will commemorate Clyde Kennard’s experience as an unsung civil rights activist, who sparked progressive changes in the movement for racial integration of higher education throughout Mississippi and the nation at-large. Key goals for the lecture:  

  • Examine educational equity for underrepresented minorities in higher education and in P-12 schools 
  • Present interdisciplinary studies about the experiences of Black people
  • Promote campus and community partnerships to create sustainable and equitable relations  


To donate funds to support the Clyde Kennard Lecture as an annual event, please use the link below.

Funds are deposited with the USM Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which serves as a fiduciary of all private funds donated to Southern Miss. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent of current IRS regulations. If you have any questions about supporting the Center for Black Studies or are interested in supporting the Center with a planned gift, please contact the Center's Director Dr. Sherita Johnson at sherita.johnsonFREEMississippi or 601.266.4068.


Schedule of Events

Monday, Oct. 16  

6:30 p.m. 
Historic Eureka School featuring Generations Strong Wall
410 E. Sixth Street / Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Welcome Reception and Book Discussion of Givens' School Clothes: A Collective Memoir of Black Student Witness

Tuesday, Oct. 17 

2 - 4 p.m.
The Hub 104, R.C. Cook University Union
119 W. Memorial Drive / Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Viewing of the documentary The Measure of Progress: The Clyde Kennard Story with discussion following, hosted by Kennard Scholars. 

The documentary was produced by Alysia Steele, Ji Hoon Heo and Bobby D. Steele Jr., in partnership with the Freedom50 Research Group — Sherita Johnson, Cheryl Jenkins, Rebecca Tuuri and Loren Saxton Coleman. It was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.  

5 - 6:15 p.m. 
Thad Cochran Center 216
121 W. Memorial Drive / Hattiesburg, MS 39406

6:30 - 8 p.m. 
Joe Paul Theater in the Thad Cochran Center
121 W. Memorial Drive / Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Kennard Lecture featuring Jarvis Givens: "Fugitive Pedagogy: Unveiling a Liberatory Tradition in the History of African American Education"

About Our Speaker

Jarvis R. GivensJarvis R. Givens is a professor of education and faculty affiliate in the department of African & African American studies at Harvard University. As an interdisciplinary scholar, he specializes in 19th and 20th century African American history, history of education, and theories of race and power in education. Professor Givens’ work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the William F. Milton Fund, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Professor Givens’ first book, Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching, was published by Harvard University Press in 2021. It has received numerous awards, including the 2022 ASALH Book Prize, from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Professor Givens’ second book, School Clothes: A Collective Memoir of Black Student Witness was published by Beacon Press earlier this year. For more information about Professor Givens, visit his website:


Fugitive Pedagogies

Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching

“Fugitive Pedagogy is a brilliant, inspiring, and energizing book that reclaims the narratives of critique and hope that fueled the deep grammar of pedagogical struggle that unfolded in both the experiences and narratives of Black educators in the beginning of the twentieth century and beyond. ”―Henry A. Giroux, author of Race, Politics, and Pandemic Pedagogy: Education in a Time of Crisis

School Clothes

School Clothes: A Collective Memoir of Black Student Witness

“A sharp examination of how Black students have consistently overcome institutionalized racism. This book, which will appeal especially to educators and historians, triumphantly rewrites Black students into a history that has ignored them. An eloquently necessary study.”
Kirkus Reviews

Planning Committee

  • Dr. Sherita Johnson, Director, Center for Black Studies
  • Dr. Cheryl Jenkins, Associate Director, Center for Black Studies
  • Dr. Charkarra Anderson-Lewis, Professor, Public Health  
  • Dr. Tom O'Brien, Professor, Educational Research and Administration  
  • Jaborius Ball, Director, Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement  
  • Latoya Norman, Director of Museums, Sixth Street Museum District, Hattiesburg 
  • Vanessa Molden, Museum Operations and Education Supervisor, Sixth Street Museum, Hattiesburg


Center for Black Studies6th Street

Special thanks to:

  • The College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Education and Human Sciences; and the College of Nursing and Health Professions;
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion;
  • The School of Education; the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development; the School of Social Science and Global Studies; and the School of Humanities;
  • The First Bank and NAACP Forrest County Branch.



Please contact Dr.%20Sherita%20Johnson, Director, Center for Black Studies.


Contact Us

Center for Black Studies

118 College Dr. Box #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406


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