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”
and produced by the Delta Jewels Support Foundation in partnership with the Freedom50
Research Group, about Clyde Kennard’s attempts to integrate USM in the1950s that also
examines racial progress at the university and within local communities today.
- 2019-present: Book manuscript (work-in-progress), titled “Mixing"
Members of the Freedom50 Research Group
|Dr. Sherita L. Johnson, English: African American Literature and Southern Cultural
Studies, Dr. Cheryl Jenkins, Mass Communication and Journalism: Race and Gender in
Media; the Black Press, Dr. Rebecca Tuuri, History: African American, Women's and
Gender, Modern U.S. history, and 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 member).