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Tuuri Honored by Southern Association for Women Historians

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 16:02pm | By: David Tisdale

Dr. Rebecca TuuriUniversity of Southern Mississippi (USM) Associate Professor of History Dr. Rebecca Tuuri was presented with the Julia Cherry Spruill Prize during the Southern Historical Association meeting Nov. 7-10 in Louisville, Kentucky. 

The Julia Cherry Spruill Prize is awarded by the Southern Association for Women Historians, an affiliate of the Southern Historical Association, for the best published book in Southern Women’s History. The prizes’ namesake, the late historian Julia Cherry Spruill, was a native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and author of Women’s Life and Work in the Southern Colonies, widely considered a significant work in Southern Women’s History. Dr. Tuuri earned the award for her book about the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Strategic Sisterhood: The National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Movement (UNC Press, 2018).

The NCNW was the largest black women’s organization in the era of the civil rights movement, founded by renowned civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935. Its purpose was to unite black women’s organizations to harness their economic, political, and service power in pursuit of better employment, educational opportunities, and social justice for black communities across the country.

"It's really exciting to see Dr. Tuuri receive this recognition,” said Dr. Matthew Casey, interim director of the USM School of Humanities and an associate professor of history. “In the past few years, we’ve seen the growing interest in her research and her public lectures from the USM and Hattiesburg communities. Now that her book is out, she's reaching that national audience, and the larger field is starting to understand what we in Hattiesburg have known for much longer."

For more information about Dr. Tuuri’s work at USM, visit