Hattiesburg Celebrates Black History Month
Throughout February, the City of Hattiesburg-Government and local organizations like the African American Military History Museum and theLibrary of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County will host many events to celebrate Black History Month.
To help make sure you don’t miss a single thing, we’ve aggregated a list of all Black History Month events in Hattiesburg for your reference.
▪️Thursday, January 25 – Kick Off to Black History Month “World War II: The War in Print” Opening Exhibit and Reception at African American Military History Museum :: Includes a feature exhibit, with WWII era collection of print materials including books, postcards and newspapers.
▪️February 1 – 28 – Mississippians Forever Free Gallery Exhibit at Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County
“Mississippians Forever Free” is a collection of photographs and quotes pulled from the more than 400 interviews conducted with ex-slaves in Mississippi from 1936 to 1938. The interviews afforded aged ex-slaves an unparalleled opportunity to give their personal accounts of life under the “peculiar institution” – to describe in their own words what it felt like to be a slave in the United States.
▪️Thursday, February 1 – “Marshall” Thursday Theater Screening, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m., at Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County
“Marshall” is based on an early trial in the career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. It follows the young lawyer as he defends a black chauffer charged with sexual assault and attempted murder of his white socialite employer. Muzzled by a segregationist court, Marshall partners with a courageous young Jewish lawyer, Samuel Friedman. Together they mount a defense in an environment of racism and Anti-Semitism. The high-profile case and partnership with Friedman served as a template for Marshall’s creation of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
▪️Friday, February 2 – Clyde Kennard Marker Unveiling, Kennard-Washington Hall, 10:30 a.m., on the Hattiesburg Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi
▪️Friday, February 2 – Story Time with a Soldier at African American Military History Museum, 10 a.m. Ages K- 5. By appointment only. To reserve, call 601-450-1942.
▪️Saturday, February 3 – Keeping in Touch: Communications During World War II, 11 a.m. at Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County
African American Military History Museum is looking forward to presenting this interactive learning experience where children will be able to try-on and view fascinating artifacts and historic images from the museum’s World War II collections to help students build an understanding on African American military history and it’s essential role in our nation’s story.
Shuntasia Coleman is the Programs and Events Coordinator at the African American Military History Museum.
▪️Monday, February 5 – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated (Official)Lambda Theta Chapter presents “Black History Museum”, 6 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center, Room 214, Hattiesburg Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi
▪️Tuesday, February 6 – Celebration of Soul Food, 6 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot, hosted by City of Hattiesburg-Government
This community pot luck event was created to celebrate Black History Month through food, fellowship and entertainment. Guests are encouraged to bring their best soul food dishes for sharing, participate in a friendly food competition, listen to entertainment and hear Dr. Brinda Willis discuss “Why We Call It Soul Food” through a partnership with the Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County and the Mississippi Humanities Council. For a full list of suggested foods for the pot luck and more information about the event, visit www.hattiesburgms.com/
▪️ Wednesday, February 7 – Mississippi’s Newest Great Author – Jesmyn Ward, by Dr. Sherita L. Johnson – 6 p.m. at Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County
A native of DeLisle, Jesmyn Ward has won National Book Awards for Salvage the Bones (2011) and Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017). Her 2013 memoir Men We Reap was a National Book Critics Circle Award winner. When designating Ward a 2017 Fellow, the prestigious MacArthur Foundation noted, “In her novels and nonfiction accounts of her own experiences with loss and injustice, Ward is offering a raw and powerful portrayal of the circumscribed possibilities and lost potential faced by many African Americans after generations of racial and economic inequality.”
Sherita Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she specializes in nineteenth-century African American literature, black women writers, Jim Crow literature and cultural studies.
▪️Friday, February 9 – Story Time with a Soldier at African American Military History Museum, 10 a.m. Ages K- 5. By appointment only. To reserve, call 601-450-1942.
▪️Monday, February 12 – Camp Van Dorn, World War II Mobilization, and Black Troops in the Deep South by Dr. Charles Bolton, 6 p.m. at Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County
Like other aspects of mobilization during World War II, the creation of military camps across the country generated numerous problems for nearby communities. In the Deep South, black soldiers training for the war threatened the region’s racial status quo in a way not seen since Reconstruction. Camp Van Dorn, located near Centreville, Mississippi, became one of many sites of conflict between white civilians and African American soldiers.
Charles Bolton is Professor of History and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He specializes in the history of the U.S. South.
▪️Thursday, February 15 – Double Victory: African Americans in the Military Presented by Dr. Krewasky Salter, curator for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Double Victory Exhibit. February 15th at 6 p.m. Located at African American Military History Museum.
▪️Friday, February 16 – Story Time with a Soldier at African American Military History Museum, 10 a.m. Ages K- 5. By appointment only. To reserve, call 601-450-1942.
▪️Monday, February 19 – Book Club, “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward, Moderated by Adam Singletary, 6:30 p.m. at Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County
Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, this novel is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature. A limited number of copies are available for checkout.
Adam Singletary is the Associate Director of The Library of Hattiesburg Petal and Forrest County. Adam moderates the monthly Monday Night book club.
▪️ Tuesday, February 20 – Soul Food Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Fresh Food Company on the first floor of the Thad Cochran Center, Hattiesburg Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi
▪️ Wednesday, February 21 – “Think Fast”, 7 p.m. in RC Cook University Union, Hattiesburg Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi
▪️ Wednesday, February 21 – Black History Month Film Series atHattiesburg Saenger Theater, 7 p.m., showing “STEP”
▪️Thursday, February 22- 1940s Wartime Cooking: Recipes and Rationing Presented by Dr. Andrew P. Haley, Associate Professor of American Cultural History at the University of Southern Mississippi. Learn about 1940s food history and indulge in sweet treats. February 22nd at 6PM. Located at African American Military History Museum.
▪️ Thursday, February 22 – Lunch and Learn with Dean of Students, Dr. Eddie Holloway, 12:15 p.m., Cook Library Room 123, Hattiesburg Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi
▪️Friday, February 23- Story Time with a Soldier at African American Military History Museum, Ages K- 5. 10 a.m. By appointment only. To reserve, call 601-450-1942.
▪️ Friday, February 23 – Black History Month Film Series at Hattiesburg Saenger Theater, 7 p.m., showing “Hidden Figures”
▪️Monday, February 26 – The WPA Slave Narratives: Giving Voice to Freedom, by Sean Farrell, 6 p.m. at Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County
Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States (often referred to as the WPA Slave Narrative Collection) was a massive compilation undertaken by the Federal Writers’ Project of the New Deal Works Progress Administration from 1936-1938. It was the simultaneous effort of writers across seventeen states working largely separately from each other. The total collection contains more than 10,000 typed pages representing more than 2000 interviews.
Sean Farrell is the Director of the Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County. He curated the exhibit, “Mississippians Forever Free.”
▪️ Tuesday, February 27 – Armstrong-Branch Lecture, 7 p.m., Bennett Auditorium, Hattiesburg Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi
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