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The Freedom50 Research Group is an opportunity for collaborative, interdisciplinary research that fosters the professional development of its participants for the benefit of the student body and the campus and local communities.

  • We work to generate critical inquiry into questions about the (in)visible signs of cultural change that have occurred at racialized sites of trauma and memory and of segregated social space.
  • We want to reframe the haunting issue of racism, as branded by the state of Mississippi, by identifying and addressing instead social problems today that lie at the intersection of race, politics, and region.


A Civil Rights Pioneer

Measure of Progress: The Clyde Kennard Story


Since 2015, we have presented our research in public lectures and at national conferences, and by engaging in other collaborative endeavors:

  • 2015-2016: Faculty Research Seminar; Colloquium with Tim Wise, anti-racist writer, educator, and author—White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son (2011)
  • 2016: A Clyde Kennard Lecture Series, Historic Eureka School, Hattiesburg, Mississippi titled “Can We Achieve This Togetherness in Our Time?”
  • 2018: A short documentary film, titled “Measure of Progress: The Clyde Kennard Story” as produced by the Delta Jewels Support Foundation in partnership with the Freedom50 Research Group, about Clyde Kennard’s attempts to integrate USM in the 1950s that also examines racial progress at the university and within local communities today.

  • 2019-present: Book manuscript (work-in-progress)

Members of the Freedom50 Research Group

Freedom 50 Research Group Members

Dr. Cheryl D. Jenkins (Mass Communication and Journalism: Race and Gender in Media; the Black Press), Dr. Loren Saxton Coleman (Mass Communication and Journalism: Black Culture in Media Studies, the Cathy Hughes School of Communications at Howard University / colleague-at-large and founding group member), Dr. Rebecca Tuuri (History: African American, Women's and Gender, Modern U.S. history), and Dr. Sherita L. Johnson (English: African American Literature and Southern Cultural Studies).



Contact Us

Center for Black Studies

118 College Dr. Box #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406


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