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Black Studies


The Center for Black Studies strives for excellence in research and teaching. Faculty affiliates have numerous publications in civil rights history, race in media, southern cultural studies, Black musical traditions, educational inequality, Jim Crow politics, gender studies, and African American literary studies. Affiliates develop popular courses based on their interdisciplinary research that attract students to the Black Studies minor.

Dr. Tuuri's Civil Rights History Class Takes to Streets

Rebecca Turri photo

Dr. Rebecca Tuuri

Co-Director of the Center for the Study of the Gulf South and Associate Professor of History

Areas of interest:
• History of the Civil Rights Movement
• African American History
• U.S. Women’s and Gender History
• Southern Women’s History


Dr. Tuuri teaches survey courses in African American History (HIS 373 and HIS 374) that are foundational for the Black Studies minor. Her “History of the Civil Rights Movement” (HIS 478) exposes students to the well-preserved local histories of Hattiesburg and surrounding communities. Leading students on field trips to cultural landmarks and delving into the civil rights archives, Dr. Tuuri lets students experience the history! 

Alumni Spotlights:

Journalist Alumna Takes on History
to Tell Stories of Black People 

Alyssa Bass Photo

Alyssa Bass, ’20  

• Major: News-Editorial Journalism 
• Hometown: Monroe, Louisiana
• Current Position: Product Engagement Coordinator, Mississippi Today; former intern at PBS FRONTLINE


For Alyssa Bass, ’20, Black Studies emphasized the importance of learning history, framing Black people as change agents, and recognizing everyone in the African Diaspora.

Read Alyssa's Q&A


Aspiring Archivist Chooses Minor to Bring
Unheard Narratives to the Forefront

Jonathan Puckett Photo

Jonathan Puckett, ’20  

• Major / Minor: English, History / Black Studies
• Graduation Date: Spring 2020
• Current Education: Pursuing a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• Current Position: Graduate assistant in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library


Jonathan Puckett, ’20, was writing his Honors thesis on the literature of Pauline Hopkins, an African American writer and activist-intellectual from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Naturally, the Black Studies minor enhanced his thesis by grounding it in existing scholarly discussions.

Read Jonathan's Q&A

Class Spotlight: ENG 473

Frances Harper

• Studies in African American Literature: Frances Harper (ENG 473) 
• Spring 2021
• MW 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. CHAT
• Faculty: Dr. Sherita Johnson


Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was the most prolific African American writer of the nineteenth century. She wrote and published several collections of poetry, popular short fiction, and one of the first African American novels—Iola Leroy (1892). A leading abolitionist orator and suffragist, Harper’s activism infused her writings about the experiences of the enslaved, exploited, disenfranchised, and discriminated. And, yet, most people today do not even know her name, her legacy discarded. This course will survey Frances Harper’s writings across genres, contextualized by a cultural history. 

Study Abroad: British Politics

Paris to London Map

• Black Politics in London and Paris
• June 3 - July 3, 2021
• Early Bird Deadline: January 4, 2021
• Application deadline: March 1, 2021
• Faculty: Dr. Marek Steedman


Examine British politics through the lens of the Black experience in London using Paris as a point of contrast and connection. This study abroad course looks at the impact of empire and immigration on British politics, and explores politics in the form of music, protest, and political ideas, as well as in the context of formal political institutions.

Highlight class visits include: Black History Walks, a guided tour with a London native explores Black history and politics in a specific part of the city, and a visit to the Migration Museum, which presents the story of 400 years of movement to and from the United Kingdom, and how it has shaped modern Britain. Watch Course Overview

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Contact Us

Center for Black Studies

118 College Dr. Box #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406


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