The Unheard Word: Volume II
In the spirit of the original publication, this edition of The Unheard Word tackles issues affecting Black people in this country, state, and, especially, on the campus of Southern Miss. The pandemic of this past year has revealed systemic issues of racism and social injustice. Therefore, we address the past history that brings us now to this pivotal moment of change.
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Have You Heard the Word?: Reflections on the Past to Push Forward
Riva Brown, Ph.D., ’93, ’98, ’13, was the founder, editor and publisher of The Unheard Word and the first Black executive editor of the Student Printz.
"Notes of a Native Son": Being Young, Black,
Earl Stoudemire, ’21, serves as the new president of the Southern Miss Association
of Black Journalists since spring 2021.
Be Honest About the Past, Stop Memorializing White Supremacy
Black student opinions about racist memorials on the Southern Miss campus are discussed in the context of a national movement of reckoning with our history of white supremacy.
To Be Young, Gifted, and Black
A select group of Black students are profiled to exemplify Black excellence. We commend them for their achievements with an ancestral chant, as channeled by Nina Simone: “There's a world waiting for you…Yours is the quest that's just begun!”
Kristle Lewis | Kalamazoo, MI
College of Arts and Sciences
Mauricio McNeil | Pearl, MS
College of Business and Economic Development
Taylor McDonald | Lucedale, MS
College of Education and Human Sciences
Keyera Waters | Laurel, MS
College of Nursing and Health Professions
Clyde Kennard: He Was Bigger
The Kennard Scholars Program ‘Frames the Future’ for Black Students
Graduation is the ultimate goal, and the Kennard Scholars Program ensures success for many Black students to achieve it, according to Ms. Valencia Walls, former director of the program.
Fill the Gap: Black Students AND Black Faculty Matter
Southern Miss is a diverse campus considering its Black student population. However, there are far fewer Black faculty in the classroom and, hence, the campus is not as inclusive as it appears statistically.
Black By the Numbers
These infographics show comparisons between the numbers of Southern Miss students
and faculty by race for 1990 and 2020 academic years.
All Lives Matter
Students weigh in on controversial responses to the Black Lives Matter movement by opponents who offer distractions rather than solutions to the problems of systemic racism in our society. The Unheard Word also grapples with the privilege of whiteness on and off campus.
Meet the Contributors
Dr. Karen T. Jackson
Keisha Green, ’20
Erika Sullivan, ’20
- Karen T. Jackson, Ph.D., '94, '04, is the Assistant Professor, Leadership Studies and Adult Education at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, Owner & Principal Evaluator at Katalyst Innovative Consulting Services, LLC and Collaborative Partner at Collective Health & Education Equity Research (CHEER). Dr. Jackson collaborated on the Black Students and Black Faculty Matter and Black by the Numbers features.
- Earl Stoudemire a senior broadcast journalism/Spanish double major from Clinton, Mississippi. He is expected to graduate in May 2021. After graduation, he plans to pursue reporting opportunities in larger metropolitan areas. Stoudemire served as the co-editor, in collaboration with Dr. Brown.
- Chris Brown is an audio/recording industry major, who will graduate from USM in May 2021. His future career goals are to be a part of a major music production team or work in media. Brown contributed to the Be Honest About the Past, Stop Memorializing White Supremacy and Black Students AND Black Faculty Matter articles.
- Keisha Green, ’20 served as president in fall 2020 of the Southern Miss Association of Black Journalists. She is broadcast journalism alumna from Pearl, Mississippi. She plans to attend law school to focus on entertainment law. Green recorded voice-overs and coordinated the videographers, graphic artists and reporters for this project.
- Lino Rodriguez is a media and entertainment arts major from St. Martin, Mississippi. He's expected to graduate from Southern Miss in May 2022. His plans for after graduation are to continue creating logos, editing video and producing for radio. Rodriguez created the graphic for article Fill the Gap: Black Students AND Black Faculty Matter.
- Sara LeJeune is a sports management graduate student from New Orleans, Louisiana. She's expected to graduate from Southern Miss in May 2022. She works as a Southern Miss graduate assistant with sports video. LeJeune edited the Black Excellence videos for this project. In May 2020, she received her BA in Media Production from Southern Miss.
- Kelcie Bolden is a sophomore public relations and advertising major from Madison, Mississippi. Her anticipated graduation date is May 2023. After graduation, Bolden plans to apply her background in public relations at a company of her choosing. Bolden coordinated the All Lives Matter video for this project.
- Koby Moore is a broadcast journalism major from Slidell, Louisiana. He is expected to graduate in May 2022. His future career plans include working at a radio station and making and producing content for film scripts or podcasts on various digital platforms. Moore coordinated the white privilege video for this project.
- Erika Sullivan, ’20 is a broadcast journalism major/communication minor from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Her future plans are to pursue a career in social media marketing. Sullivan assisted in coordinating people for the black excellence student videos.
- Jessica Payne is a mass communication graduate student from Natchez, Mississippi. She works as a Southern Miss graduate assistant with the Center for Black Studies and the School of Communication. In May 2020, she received her BA in English Education from Mississippi College.
- Ivonne Kawas, assistant to the Dean for External Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences, served as digital marketing specialist for this project.