Civil Rights Era discussion - - Jackson, MS

Civil Rights Era discussion

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By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - As a remembrance of fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement, Millsaps College held a roundtable discussion with several well-known panelists to reflect on the era.

During the hour and a half discussion titled, "A Shining Light: Millsaps in the Civil Rights Movement: A 50-Year Retrospective," former Governor William Winter, Interim Jackson State University President Les McLemore, Clarion-Ledger Investigative Reporter Jerry Mitchell, and former Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham had a chance to share their view point on this movement.

"It is so important that a new generation of Americans/Mississippians understand what has come before," said former Governor William Winter.

The crowd was filled with more a hundred people from all generations. Many students attended the event, and said they were thankful they had the chance to listen and learn more about what life was like in Mississippi fifty years ago.

"Race is still an issue and we have to observe that and be aware of that so that we can move beyond any issues that still exist because of it," said Millsaps Senior Genevieve Navin.

Junior Dwight Johnson agrees. "As African Americans we deserve to know the history of the college and what went on during those times of civil rights."

Walten Lipscomb was a student at Millsaps during the 1950s. He later went on to work for the school during the Civil Rights Era. As an individual who lived during this era, Lipscomb says he doesn't want others to forget.

"I think anything that can be done to preserve that oral history needs to be done, because these people are getting older and they may no longer be with us."

Former Newsweek Editor, Jon Meacham wrote a book about the Civil Rights Movement. He said the movement itself was a journey into freedom.

"It was the single most important thing that we did as a people." Meacham continued, "It took long, it's still not over, but it was the great hour of liberation."

Investigative Reporter Jerry Mitchell has followed a handful of civil rights murder cases that were never fully closed.

In his journey, he says the movement will continue in the hands of the next generation.

"Students today I hope will learn to be a part of the spirit that still lives the spirit of the civil rights movement."


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