tv 2016 Mississippi Book Festival CSPAN August 20, 2016 1:00pm-3:01pm EDT
>> i think, let's see. i think that, i think that there are a lot of assumptions that young, idealistic people have when they have no understanding not just here many mississippi, but -- here in mississippi, but what our public schools are like all across the country in low income areas which are often minority area ares, right? because of history -- areas, right? because of history. i was immensely naive, and i think that i did harm at times in imagining that i understood what was happening or what i needed to do or why children were misbehaving or believing somehow it was about me which is, i think, a tendency of any young person who is 22, but especially someone who comes and does a service teaching program that has a year or two-year stint. and i think, i think that the answer is that people coming in need to be more humble and to do better.
i don't think we should justify people's assumptions about children or about schools under any circumstances. at the same time, i think you have to recognize probably the difficulty for somebody who has no experience both of the south or of poverty or of our public schools and doesn't know the craft of teaching. they probably have, as you would know because you've taught, right? they have a lot to learn. and i just hope that people come to schools with humility, understanding that they're not there to impose their will or vision onto the children or the schools. .. made
we have our vo-tech center you may have read about, the sundance are solar car racing scene, we won the national championship of the winston dell solar challenge in our division for the last 16 years competing against new york city and other places, a small town where they build -- they have to take a class for two years to build a solar car and race it across country one year. another year they race it in dallas around the track. kids want to be on this team. why not put things into the school that only the public schools, teaching them a trade and everybody would want to come back to the school in my opinion is have the business owners come in and help other schools and
self-esteem to me is the most important thing a child needs when they graduate high school. by building that football team, these young boys that have may be none, never would have had a chance to play football before, putting confidence in them. if they graduate with confidence, they can make it in the world. >> another question? >> i graduated from link central high school, and one of the things, we were a very next school, black, white, hispanic, but now we are seeing a lot of white sloth, parents say the school is good, education is good and my kid is learning, they are enjoying it, they take their kid out and say various comments like mike it is not going to central africa.
how do you curb white blight? >> the question was how did we encourage? >> how do you curb it? >> the truth is in 1973, 1974, the united states supreme court, in looking what was happening with radical desegregation here and elsewhere enshrined white flight as the best response to radical desegregation in the inner cities of chicago and detroit. in milliken versus bradley, instead of forcing the focus back on inner-city schools, what brown versus board was really about was it was inherently discriminatory to black children to be held back by being in isolated schools. that was the interest at stake.
it later became by the time we were there, the reason to integrate was to, quote, get around or remedy 300 years of intentional discrimination against black people. that was a massive task. that was the end, any means could be justified. it is so strange it was in four years of that the court was enshrining white flight as a way to get around programs that ought to focus on -- the only way to get around the assumptions the teacher was talking about is to be in close proximity in a high school or someplace like that, spend a lot of time together. that is the hope of integration and it worked for us.
>> i want to ask you and tina one of the things i observed in the press of girls writing and especially talking about the book after it was published. my sense was it was still a learning process and a reconciliation process in a way that surprised me, can you talk a little bit about how that works in the discussions of the book after it was published? >> robert gibbs is a former judge, a lawyer, an african-american fellow and a good friend. he said this book is the first chapter of another chapter that will be coming from the african-american perspective a little bit more. it still raises the same pressure points, hits the same pressure points.
it is a matter of emphasis on the part of the white community. it is a source of great anger still that black children, brinkley high school is one of the best performing high schools in the state of mississippi in 1969, it basically ceased to exist, sacrificed on the altar of desegregation. they took their chance, folded their uniforms up and put them away. brinkley is at junior high school. there is a lot of anger about that and what we learned in doing the book, we thought we white people gave it up for desegregation. we thought -- liberal back patting, not you, but -- it was the black kids that gave up a
lot more than we did to achieve what we achieved and some are really angry about it. >> there is a chapter where we talk about what we learned and how we feel about it and there are different opinions about it. donnie and i feel that in our profession it helped us be a better healthcare professional and he, an attorney and represent are of people needing his help, we don't think twice about what color people are or what their religion is, their patients that come into my practice i try to help them to the best of my ability in the same way. would it be like that if we had not gone to mara? it opened our eyes to a different segment of society, opened our hearts to understand
people that didn't have what we have, not that we had that much. this is a lot of rich white people we were not all rich. we did learn the spirit of excellence murrah had to take it with his in our lives to be better people and serve our communities. i am proud of all the professionals and folks that came out of the class because our education wasn't too good, in ninth grade we learned anything, some of us had problems getting to the point we should have been at in college. >> could you comment on how you think this experience of what might determine the failure of desegregation in jackson, might
have an impact on attitudes about public school funding in mississippi? [laughter] >> immediately after the schools were integrated public school funding declined was a lot of that was not necessarily state funds but local funds. as everybody knows a lot of education is funded through local funds. the most obvious example is in the delta. when all the white folks left delta schools, the first thing they did was lower the millage rates for the schools. all of the sudden the schools are getting less money not because the state reduced appropriations but because local governments were not giving those schools as much money.
mississippi has tried to do more. governor winter's education reform act in 1982, there was the adequate education reform act but that has never been fully funded. you try to equalize those inequities you see with local governments paying more for schools and others not, but it is on the books but it has not been funded. definitely became an issue. >> the last on the issue in jackson was in 88, air-conditioning jacks public schools, there has been one since then that has passed. and it is where the community at large speaks most clearly when doing something that improves public schools. >> you have a question? >> i happened to go to bailey
murrah several years ahead of you. i looked much younger. i think it would be appropriate if it is okay with ahmadi it -- moderator. it would be appropriate to recognize every person in here who has been a teacher, by raising a hand. >> teachers. [applause] >> as we talk about public schools, we mention jackson public schools, in one week the superintendent recognized the superintendent of the year, the state of mississippi and this past week, the next week they were put on probation for failing 22 out of 31 categories,
speaking of leadership, we don't seem to be paying attention. who is driving the train? we have great teachers for the most part, teach for america, and others, what are we doing so dramatically wrong in the city of jackson, throughout the state? >> we might have time for one more really brief question. >> it is a good question. if anybody has any ideas how to improve it. it is clearly a losing battle that we are not fighting very well. faulkner said in 1954 right after brown that mississippians would first take to the streets with guns to fight against
desegregation in public schools. he was drinking a little bit. he said back then it would include him. he said over the long haul mississippi can't afford to finance two subpar schools, school districts or forms of school, and turned out to be exactly right. he was right about a lot of stuff he said back then. it is really true. the answers of not become very clear. a little leadership would help. >> i keep thinking about the question, how you curb this, it is framed in the wrong way. the question is how do we make public schools better so that all students want to attend them and can? how do we fight the forces in some ways of selfishness or self-justification, how do we
stop this investing in our schools -- providing people the american dream? only semi-functional ones. i wonder to what extent we reduce that problem? how do we get white people to stay in schools? how do we make the schools better? that answer comes back to kids. when you see public school students you understand they are being deprived of opportunities, those schools need attention, funding, political will, people to come teach even if they do not teach all that well. >> we are about out of time. thank you for coming and participating. [applause] >> [inaudible conversations]
>> there was tension inside, republicans doing things, gaetz was against some things that happened in the operation. he thought we should bomb the place and let it go and not jeopardize the field. if something had gone wrong and they had been captured they would be accused -- they had no protection. they were committing a war crime. killing a prisoner of war, they executed a prisoner of war, and letting a country without notice to the authorities know what happened. >> afterwards airs on booktv every saturday at 10:00 pm and sunday at 9:00 pm eastern. you can watch all previous after words programs on our website, booktv.org. here is a look at the books president obama is reading this summer --
that is a look at what is on president obama's reading list this summer. >> booktv recently visited capitol hill to ask numbers of congress what they are reading this summer. >> i read a lot of books all at the same time. sometimes i will finish a book all in one sitting. more often than not i read different parts of a book. one book i finish reading a short time ago is a great book i understand you did a segment on, the millionaire and the bard. i am a big fan of shakespeare and the folder library is down the street from where i live.
they picked it up and it is a terrific book about folger who went on a spree to buy shakespeare's folio, a huge collection not just of folios but enough material on shakespeare at the folder library, and how it ended up in washington dc. i am also reading -- rereading the righteous mind. it is a book about communicating how we communicate in a more incentive way. if you picture an elephant, a rider on the elephant, the elephant is making the decisions, the rider merely explains what the elephant is doing. a lot of times you talk to the rider who is not making the decisions, you ought to be talking to the elephant. it is a good way to remember you
should be talking to the elephant making the decisions. in a time of a political situation arena, it it is important to -- a book i am rereading. i am also rereading death of the national gallery a week or so ago causing accidental masterpiece, about how you see art. to me, because i am a great lover of art, you see beauty of art and every day objects and everywhere you look this is another interesting book. i like color, i like art, i do my own art, ceramics. reading, i want to mention, is
foundational, english is not my first language and i credit a librarian in elementary school who awakened my love of reading, and little kids at the library and, she read mary poppins. it is foundational, basically to be a good writer, you should be a reader. i am a pretty voracious reader. >> anything else you are reading this summer? >> i picked up h is for hawk. i also read the new yorker compilations of short stories on my ipad and those are things i
can read and when i have time i have a number of those kinds of books on my ipad. another thing i want to mention, when you think of books that change your way of thinking there is one book that did that for me in college and that was the feminine mystique. literally a light bulb went on when i read that book and i decided maybe my life is not going to consist of getting married and having children, that kind of life i should be thinking about taking care of myself and extending my own horizon. that is one book that totally changed my way of thinking. >> booktv wants to know what you are reading, tweet is your answer,@booktv or posted on
facebook.com/booktv. >> to the federal government's mobilization of the war on crime promoted a particular type of social control, one that signals target arrest of racially motivated america and the creation of industry support this regime of control are among the central characteristics of domestic policy in the late 20th century. the decisions policymakers and officials, part of a larger coalition made at the highest levels of government. for low income americans and the nation, unintended, those choices may have been, at different times, different political moments. ultimately, the bipartisan consensus of policymaker's fixated on police in an urban space and removing generations of young men and women of color from their communities to live and die in prison. we can excuse actions and choices historical actors made of the progress of the time or merely an electoral tactic but
by doing so we will avoid confronting enslavement that prevents the nation from realizing the promise of astounding principles. until recently the devastating outcomes of the war on crime have gone unnoticed. for many americans it appeared discrimination ended with the civil rights movement in the united states had to move beyond exploitation. alongside the tremendous growth in american law enforcement, the black middle-class surfaced cup and to forget americans consumed areas of power, and the presidency of barack obama. these achievements create cultural pathology and personal responsibility, making it seem systematic incarceration of groups of racially marginalized citizens reflected the national order. political representation and the
fact some black americans amassed substantial wealth and capital do not mean historical races and any quality is not news to many of you who are in the room today. african-americans grew affluent by 1965. the next financial asset for black american households were $7448. only $448 above that, white american households, black middle-class is concentrated in the public sphere, the extent of state spending on domestic program. insulating racial inclusion by african-american activists and allies during black history month, the critical reforms of the postwar period have been negated by priorities remaining on unrecognized. 9 years after the passage of the voting rights act, the dawn of
mass incarceration the supreme court ruled it constitutional to deny convicted felons the right to vote. state of removed convicts from voter rolls since the 1974 richardson versus ramirez decision, 6 million americans, most of whom have served their sentences are deprived of the franchise. as a result of racial disparity, with criminal justice practices, and estimated one out of 13 african-americans will not vote in the 2016 election due to a prior conviction. because of this set of punitive policies, a key civil rights gain of the 1960s has come and gone. to make a questionable situation worse, u.s. census counts people who are incarcerated in state and federal prisons as residents of the county where they are serving time.
it determines representation. the rule areas are home to the minority of the us population, home to the majority of prisons. in other words urban americans lost representation with enfranchisement work and rules that favor republicans, gain representation because of how the prison system works. as mobility remain stagnant, public schools in many urban neighborhoods are more segregated today than they were before the civil rights movement. >> you can watch this and other programs email@example.com. here is a look at some books being published this week. political commentator ann coulter's in trump we trust lays out why she support the republican presidential candidate in trump revealed.
the history of civil rights in the south. >> good afternoon. welcome to the mississippi book festival. our panel on civil rights history. a few housekeeping rules, remember to silence your cell phones. books are available and mrs. be streets and sent outdoors from a number of booksellers and if there are books you would like to get signed by various authors in the back of your brochure they have a handy signing schedule, that lists authors and their particular times and behind the capital. we are delighted to have c-span with us broadcasting live today and will be available on the web in october. i want to thank the legislature for letting us use this facility
and i think the moderators for celebrating literature and the written word. the civil rights panel this afternoon is cosponsored by the mississippi humanities council and first commercial bank. appreciate their support as well. i want to introduce today's panel moderator, ralph eubanks. i feel honored to introduce my friend, and washington post book critic called his book one of the best nonfiction books of 2003 and the graduate of the university of mississippi and university of michigan and guggenheim fellowship and a fellow at the new america foundation. in washington dc he lives with his wife and three children with quarterly review in the university of virginia. as visiting scholar in southern study in jackson, welcome.
[applause] or smack >> we have a great lineup and i want to introduce each of the panelists. debbie harwell's book is proper ladies working for radical change. joseph rife -- joseph reiff's book, mississippi's closed society, professor at emory college in virginia. and jason morgan ward is the author of racial violence and america's civil rights century, associate professor of history at mississippi state university, and at the end is crystal sanders, a chance for change,
mississippi's black freedom struggle, she is historian of the 20th century and associate professor at pennsylvania state university. tell us about your book, move down. >> thank you, at the mississippi book festival. i am honored to be here. my book is about -- the only civil rights project that was organized by women, for women as part of the national women's organization. it was unlike anything i have heard or read about in the civil rights movement. they brought teams of more than women who were middle-aged, middle-class to jackson mississippi, freedom summer. they came with proper dresses, white gloves and hat in the
1960s, they set themselves apart from activists who were here at the time. it was sponsored by the national council of negro women, president and volunteer named holly cow one. they came at the request of jackson women so they had an invitation and set up an interracial -- recruited 7 teams of 48 northern women who came weekly through july and august. a typical itinerary involved women coming in on tuesday and when they arrived at the airport they would immediately separate by race and act like they didn't know each other because they felt it was important to follow rules of southern protocol. they didn't want to upset things, they thought it would stop the program. on wednesday, white women went to hotels because they were not invited to private homes where as the black women stayed in
private homes. on wednesdays come all the women met up at the freedom summer project in cities outside jackson where they were able to see what was going on in the movement firsthand. then they came back to jackson and met over coffee to discuss what they had seen with local women. this is where they did their real work for change. they used their proper appearance, gender, race and class to open doors that had been totally shut to other civil rights activists during that time. they were able to open lines of communication across race, region and religion by talking about their differences. they realized they shared common goals for their families and communities and this kind of communication opened the door to understanding and acceptance of an integrated society.
it wasn't foolproof. one woman whose daughter was volunteering, was told very bluntly you can go home and take your daughter with you. however, for the most part, it was very successful and people took those first steps towards change. we all know the first step is often the hardest one to take. they were invited to come back in 1965 which they did as a professional exchange. in 1966 they evolved the anti-poverty program which included local women in leadership. you might wonder if something that simple is really successful. in 1965, pat darian, who is a jackson activist and later served in carter's administration said if you look at the last two years and mark every forward step in jackson community relations you find a wednesday lady had been involved. these women may not have looked like what we think of as civil rights activists but they were
civil rights activists nonetheless. they really demonstrated women's ability to use quiet power in order to accomplish radical change. >> i add to the book festival and sponsors of this panel, it is definitely an honor to be here. the angle i considered in this book, white methodists and mississippi's closed society is the question, how did whites in mississippi respond to the civil rights movement, especially during what i call the peak of white resistance between 1962, and 1964. there certainly was what we refer to as massive resistance but there was also a lot of silence. martin luther king had a poignant passage in the letter from birmingham jail, that
expresses his supreme disappointment in the white moderate and white christians who had failed to support the movement in any significant way and more stumbling block than the citizens council. these are powerful words. the story that i tell, happens right after the riot at ole miss on september 30, 1962, when james meredith became the first african-american student at that institution. there were some young, white, methodist ministers, at the time the southern half of the states, who were exceedingly frustrated in the ways the white power structure in mississippi refused to take any responsibility for what happened at ole miss, in
the federal government and marshals folks, and also frustrated that the leaders of their annual conference, the bishop, the district superintendent, said nothing to respond to the situation and they believed the church needed to say something. this was four young ministers, 24 other ministers to sign it with them, 28 white methodist ministers, most of them young, the statement was published on january 2, 1963. the statement had four points calling for freedom of the pulpits claiming the church belongs to god, the implicating the church purpose was not to prop up dominant culture, but
rather god's church, they quoted a passage or two from the methodist discipline, denomination's law book saying the teachings of jesus don't allow for discrimination on race, talked about all people being brothers and sisters but i'm sure they said brothers at the time. the third point was expressing support for public schools and opposition to any attempt to close them if desegregation came, and opposition to the use of state money and the fourth point, we are not communists because in those days anyone who said anything against the status quo was quickly labeled a communist. i am sure with our 21st century eyes, we hear those four main points in that statement and think it is not much.
but in that context in early 1963, it caused a firestorm of controversy. there were some folks who publicly supported the statement. the conference leader, the pastor of galloway church. a couple other folks. the overwhelming response was negative newspaper editorial, letters to the editor. the response in many local churches served by signers of this statement. three of the signers are expelled from their congregations immediately in january 1963 and there were many others who were ostracized by their church members, sort of shut out, confronted angrily and that sort of thing. most of the signers received
anonymous telephone threats, send letters from anonymous letters, all kinds of threat in that way. it is important to say there was a good bit of almost completely private support for the signers, letters, people saying things directly to the signers about this. one woman wrote her pastor, one of the signers on the coast, to thank him basically for being willing to say publicly what she believed but wasn't willing to say publicly and this was a common problem for white folks in mississippi in those days. 20 of the 28 survivors of the board and conviction statement
left mississippi, most of them in a year and a half of the statement's publication. one of the things i found was in writing the brief mentions, brief mentions of restatement in historical publications tend to emphasize the exodus of ministers and ignored the fact the eight of the signers stayed in mississippi for the duration, continued to work for a new mississippi after the civil rights act of 1964, the voting rights act. i think ultimately the impact of the conviction statement was it created one significant crack in the façade the citizens council and other groups like that were trying to keep up, if all white people want things to stay the same they often said blacks believed that as well, that they were completely happy with that. the signers of the statement
were trying to say that not all white christians in mississippi support the maintenance of segregation whatever the cost. thanks so much for having me. >> my book hanging bridges about abridge, and three generations in a civil rights story i tried to tell through three moments. i have been holding my book taking the long view, i will talk about the three moments in that longview. the subtitle of the book racial violence in america's civil red century operate in intention through the book and i learned a lot from paying attention to that dynamic. in terms of the structure of the book it is in three parts. in 1918 in mississippi, there is a quadruple lynching at a local
river bridge. two men, two women, both of whom were rumored to be pregnant by their white employer who turned up dead and fourth one died in retaliation for what they believed was a murder conspiracy. in 1942 there was a double lynching at the same bridge, a 14-year-old boy who just turned 15, accused of attempted rape of a local white girl. the first fbi investigation of the lynching in mississippi history in which no one, including the girl herself got within 6 to 8 feet of her. the question that came out of this for me was knowing this bloodied history, this legacy of violence what do the 60s look like, in a community where in the national historical record we know very little about other
than these breakouts of violence? important moments, world war i, world war ii, what did it look like in the 60s? i don't read about clark county in the civil rights books. the answer is quite a lot happened. there are interesting answers i could get into later. there is a vigorous and interesting dynamic civil rights movement but i would like to go back, take it back to 1918 for a minute and go to a seam from the book, the national conference on lynching, the naacp held a national conference on lynching at mccarthy hall in new york city, 2500 in attendance including former governors, former presidential candidates, democrats, republicans, white, black, even a handful of white mississippians lose the naacp was so eager to have a big tent that they handed the gavel on
day 2 of the proceedings to a white lawyer from grenada that no one has ever heard of named jack wilson. jack wilson, lawyer from grenada and head of a new organization called the mississippi welfare league which was a public relations stunt to convince the nation and convince average americans that mississippi was not be the lynching capital of the world because it was turning into a very expensive proposition. to be known as the lynching capital of the world. jack wilson presiding, he gives remarks throughout the day while civil rights activists are getting up and talking, most of them white, civil rights advocates, anti-lynching advocates, southerners, and he gives his little speech in which he says a speech that a white person in mississippi in 1918 could recite by memory. this doesn't mean we want to get rid of segregation, we have certain customs and values that
we honor and cherish, blacks know we are doing the best we can buy them but everyone is to leave us alone and let the white people of mississippi handle their business. william pickens got up and spoke. william pickens worked for the naacp, his parents were born into slavery in south carolina. he grew up in arkansas, later graduated yale university and this is what he said. the good man is in error who thinks he can endorse the franchise and comedy segregation and jim crow and successfully oppose the mob. mob members may be ignorant in some ways but it too severely logical to overlook an inconsistency like that. we do an injustice to civil rights history and african-american history and mississippi history when we assume the 20th century was a steady march toward freedom.
that is the story we tell and make our little contributions. this is a story of three generations in which real people face real challenges and made real choices and a white man in 1918 in mississippi was just ask capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time as a civil rights activist in the 1960s. they understood then, they understood later that violence, the civil rights drama is undergirded the struggle. when we used words like moderate or extreme or liberal or conservative, to define whites ass responses to the civil rights movement and african american strategies and the civil rights movement and all these definitions and this playing field is being defined on a foundation of violence, moderate as compared to what?
compared to hanging someone from a bridge, knocking his head at the rally with handles. that is what i wanted to bring to the conversation. that is what i learned, violence is important to pay attention to, violence is always on the table, always was, always has been. that is why this is a book about a civil rights century. we are in another civil rights century and violence is always an option on the table. thank you. >> good afternoon. i'm thankful for the opportunity to sit on this panel with such distinguished scholars, writing a very important book on civil rights in mississippi and the south more broadly, i think all of you, this beautiful saturday afternoon in the courthouse, i want to begin by telling you a story. 50 years ago this year on
january 31, 1966, 40 black sharecroppers took over and abandoned air force base in greenville, mississippi. these sharecroppers took over this air force base on the coldest day in mississippi history. they did so because they were desperate. they had been evicted from a plantation in the delta and their cries for help that had been taken to state officials and the white house had gone unanswered. when the air force base commander approach as a group and proceeds to tell them they will be physically removed from the property they present him with a list of demand. the seventh demand on that list was the refunding of the child developing group of mississippi head start program. i ask myself why on one of the coldest days in mississippi history with just the two unemployed and homeless adults
make head start a preschool program, one of their priorities. i set out to answer that question in my book, a chance for change. i honestly believe there are three important reason these sharecroppers believe refunding the child developing group had to be a priority. the first is these sharecroppers understood head start had become another way to continue their earlier struggle for racial and socioeconomic justice. you see head start with the community action program and at the community action program it had to be operated with maximum peaceful participation of the poor. what this meant was head start had to allow working-class individuals to have meaningful safe zones in the implementation and administration of head start but this meant local people had the opportunity to make higher end decisions, local people had the opportunity to enter into
contracts for things like food or school supplies or educational material. this is an opportunity for local people who have an opportunity to participate in the shared governance of the community, something debated in 1965 when head start begins. the second reason sharecroppers found head start to be important when taking over this air force base is they created well-paying jobs for working-class black mississippians, head start did not require its teachers to have formal credentials in the initial years of this meant people, especially black women who had a love for children now had the opportunity to become head start, they could leave working in the fields, leave working as a domestic in a white home and had the opportunity to educate their kids. not only did they have this
opportunity for well-paying jobs but these were jobs outside local white power structure. anything about mississippi history, you know economic reprisals are one of the main ways used to curtail civil rights activism. think of someone like emmylou hamer who lost her job after she attended to register to vote. there were hundreds of black women across mississippi who were unemployed when head start began in 1965 because of their relationship to the movement. head start presented secure employment and continued the earlier civil rights work. the third reason i believe sharecroppers were so concerned with assuring the cdc m, the child development group of mississippi head start program was refunded was, early childhood education program that provides quality educational opportunities to black children, something black parent advocate for, something that continued to
evade them because white school board, white county commissioners as white superintendents consistently diverted tax dollars that should have been used for black education to better fund education for white students. head start became that opportunity for black parents to ensure their child has quality educational opportunities lose not only were these quality educational opportunities but opportunities that introduced black students to their history, something that evaded them, something not possible for them to do in the public school system. this was a curriculum to prepare students to know how to ask questions and speak for themselves and give black children the confidence they needed to speak up for themselves and challenge the racial status quo. these were the reasons in 1966 homeless destitute adults made head start one of their concerns when they approached the air
force base commander. from 1965 to 1968 the head start program i write about was able to secure $15 million in grants from the federal government. this money went directly into the hands of local blacks in communities in the delta and the hill region and the gulf region. all across the state you have working-class individuals particularly black women who now have the opportunity to serve on community bards, as head start teachers and head start directors where they make decisions about everything from curriculum to the center location, the hours of the head start center. these were people who never had the opportunity to control anything other than their churches but suddenly have this opportunity to have decisionmaking opportunities in their communities. you should know segregation opposed the program that employed people like the mother of james meredith.
they opposed a program that gave working-class african-americans the chance of a curriculum for their kids that is not limited or filtered or monitored by white officials in the school system. what we see over a three year period 1965-1968 is a battle between local people and state and national officials over who should control head start in mississippi. a battle that asks do black women have the capability to teach children and prepare them for school? this was a question if working-class people should have a stake in the governance of their community. for three years local people won this battle, for three years they were able to engage in radical community outbuilding in a way that had never been seen before in the state of mississippi in regards to working-class recipients. in 1968 the program was defunded but as you see in my book i
don't say that is a sad story because it -- the skill of the know-how local people, women in particular and were able to translate into opportunities that lasted long afterwards. i will basically say that two biggest points i hope you take away if you do read the book is number one this head start program changes the way we think about the war on poverty. too often the narrative of failure has surrounded the war on poverty. you may recall president ronald reagan said we declared war on poverty and poverty won. there is this idea that we are on poverty programs, did not improve the lives of poor people and the war on poverty was an example of big government gone wrong or a government that created or fostered dependency for american citizens but when we look at a program like cdg m we see it ended not because it
was a failure but because it was so successful giving working-class people a safe zone in their communities. in the head start program i looked at, black women restructured civic life under the banner of preschool education. they found ways to have something in their community when they were not able to vote. even when they were not able to go into certain restaurants, certain establishments in their communities, they found a way to challenge the status quo and that indeed is why the program ended. not because it is not working. the other thing i hope we take away from the head start program i write about is it created a new cadre of independent black leaders in mississippi. it gave black domestics and black sharecroppers the chance to enter the middle-class, gave them the opportunity to go back to school, to learn skills that previously had been unavailable to them and used these skills,
why is it important for all of to us understand these stories ofsive rights, particularly as they relate to local people as all of the stories do. >> i'll start by saying, all too often i think when we look at mississippi history during the civil rights movement, no one asked what happened after 1964. what happened after the mississippi freedom democratic party, delegates took the bus ride back home to mississippi after their challenge in terms of being seated in atlantic city was not successful completely. i asked that question because when you look at thesive rights act of 1964 and to the voting rights in 1965 there already shot comings and limitations that meant the lives of black people in mississippi did not
change overnight. so to give you an example after john on signs the civil rights act there were many restaurant openers and hotel owners in the city of jackson who closed their doors rather than comply with the law. after the 1965 voting rights act was signed it's over a year before federal vote for registrars enter the county, one of the worth -- the county of fanny lou hamer. found many of the people decided that head start could become another vehicle to achieve the very gains and rights they've been mobilizing for and organizing for years. i think it's important to look at a program like head start because it's one of the first times where we see federal dollars go directly into the hands of black southerners without the dollars being filtered and allocated why whites. when we think of civil rights we
think, after 1964, we have had -- after 1965, two important pieces of civil rights legislation, but we can't then just take the a gaze to the left or north because still people working on the ground to improve their communities and make these two pieces of civil rights legislation have real meaning in their lives. >> i'd like to add to that. we're sitting here today in the shadow of churches that refused to allow african-americans to come in and worship in the 1960s, and that no longer the case today. in this room we have people sitting here that would not have been allowed to come in, in the 1960s, we started that change at bit at a time, and women played a major role in making that happen. a lot of them local women who were unsung heroes that many people may not know their names, whether it's from the african-american community and
we're talking about someone like thelma sanders, who was a dress shop owner, or in the white community, jane scott, who was a member of the mississippi committee to the u.s. civil rights commission. and they responded in different ways in order to bring about change. but i think we're fooling ourselves if we look at the community and say, oh, everything is okay now. we haven't -- we have not erased all of the lingering effects of jim crow, and i say that not only about mississippi. i say that about other communities all across our country, which is why we are looking at unrest in cities all across america. so, we still have a ways to good even though we have made great progress. >> i will respond as a writer
who since -- the book came out in may -- the question has been raised by a more skeptical read are or two that seems mighty suspicious at a time like this -- they're referring to the cable news cycle -- at a time like this, book like this, would come out. now, books take a longer time to write. you can't just see ferguson on the news and just, like, start banging out a book. but that doesn't mean that the or two unrelated. so while i didn't see trayvon or amir on the first and say is indiana to write a book about lynching. they investigated the murder of two 14-year-old boys and kept
running into white officials and white towns people who kept saying, the paper got it wrong. they weren't really 14. they looked older than 14. i'm pretty sure they were 16 or 18. they were saying the same thing about tamir and the same being about trayvon. when james craig anderson was killed in jackson, the police department very quickly put a gag order on its officials giving interviews to the press, but before they did that there was one quote that slipped out, and it was something to the effect of, this was just a good kid who made one really bad mistake. when a new york reporter showed up in mississippi in 1942 asking about the lynchings, the sheriff or the -- the local sheriff said we got some good people who get kind of wild. so, while i did not flip on cnn
and decide to write a book, i cooperate help but hear the echos, and that not to claim that people are being consciously malicious, but it's almost more of the sort of inherited echo that we get from hoyt that makes us respond in the moment in ways that we later would rather take back or we would rather not be on cnn or in "the new york times." but those echos are there, and that just something that i thought about when you asked the question, well, why do we keep talking about this. why bring up old stuff. >> just to add to that, i get a little tired of whites who are privileged who continue to insist, there you good again, bringing up that soldiers old story. we'vealready -- that same old story. we've gone beyond that. well, we haven't. i have been fascinated by the fact that a lot of folks have said to me about my book, which
has been out eight or mine months, came out at such great time because of what is happening in united the united , and maybe. but a little bit like what jason was saying. but the race issue has continued to be with us. every one of these books on this panel tell stories that have been buried for 50 and -- in jason's book, 100 years. and i have been fascinated by receiving e-mails from people whose parents were involved -- to the church, whose parents were involved in some way in difficulties in the '60s. almost like it gives them permission to tell that story, at least maybe this guy who wrote this book will listen to what i have to say. so we got a lot of stories yet to tell, and to deal with.
i want to get to the mississippi burnings here and that in the depiction of the civil rights era we often see the people who are menaced to change or to being people who are wearing white robes and are burning crosses, and if those weren't the people who were really trying to block the change or continuing to build up that -- the people in suits and the women in proper dresses. so, could you -- each of you tell us a bit about how your stories help us dispel this myth that it was only really bad people in robes who kept this going for so long. >> there was a various types of threats that were levied against
people who participated in civil rights. it could have been -- i'm going to call your loan due. it could have been as they did with many women here in jackson, if you don't get out of that league of women voters your husband is going to lose his job, or perhaps actually they would have gone to the muss and said if you don't get your wife out of the league of women voters you're going to lose your job, which is who i jane scott eventually resigned from the mississippi committee on the civil rights commission, because her husband was threatened in that way. it came from ministers. jeff cunningham, who was the head pastor here at gallaway, talked frequently and openly about how the citizens council members controlled the board there. so, it wasn't just the people in the white robes. it was the leaders and pillars of the community. it was people that owned the media outlets.
it was all of those individuals, and speaking of media, when media is controlling the story you're hearing, for example, all civil rights worker ands all the students coming down are communists, beat -- beat nicks s and perverts and when you read 0 of that you consider that a trusted supports of information. so a lot of misinformation was distributed believed to be the truth. so people thought they were acting in a rome way nice heard this information from people who were higher up in the community. >> [inaudible]
>> in 1789, james madison had a problem. after living for ten years under the articles of confederation, madison had worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring about a constitution to device a new -- a convention to device a new constitution. in september of 1786 he participated in a preliminary convention in annapolis. by 1787 he had secured enough support of key players like george washington and ben franklin to convene a constitutional convention in philadelphia. now the pressure was on the 36-year-old madison. before journeying to philadelphia he crammed for the gathering like a student for his examples. from a chestful of books that had been plied to him by his friend and mentor, thomas jefferson.
for the cerebral madison had a problem to solve. he had concluded that the american regime governed be the articles of confederation was grossly inadequate and contrary to what the virginia declaration of rights referred to as the common benefit protection and security of the people. but why was this happening? why had the republicanism of the founding generation failed themselves? for the previous 13 years, the people of the united states had been governed by 13 separate entities. state governments under the articles of confederation were thought to be republican. the founders had thrown off rule by the aristocratic few in favor of rule by the democratic many. under aristocracy, if the many are screwed by the few, the democratic or republican alternative was premised on the belief that the people wouldn't screw themselves.
this is cook county. this is how we talk in cook county. but this republican theory that people wouldn't screw themselves had unexpectedly proven to be false. state legislatures had been -- begun enacting debtor relief laws that both unmind the rights of creditors and impaired economic prosperity, which required a credit market that can safely rely on the obligation of private contracts to collect from debtors. saids also erected a debilitating assortment of trade barriers to protect their own businesses from competing firms in neighboring states. the result was a national economic downturn. a really great depression. so republican government, as it was then conceived, was clearly not working for the common benefit protection and security of the people but why not? now to answer this question, in april of 1787, largely for his own benefit, madison composed an
essay that is called devices of the political system of the united states, but not an essay for publication. was for his own benefit. like a working paper for him to figure out what the game plan needed to be for the upcoming constitutional convention in philadelphia, and so we have this document. it's a remarkable document because it shows how he was sort through this problem. what was the problem? in vices, madison identified the source of the problem in what he called the injustice of the laws of the states. first the problem was the laws the states were passing were unjust. the causes of this evil, he contend, could be traced to the representative bodies in the states and ultimately, he said to the people themselves. this, he wrote, called into question, quote, the fundamental principle of republican government that the majority who rule in such governments are the safest guardians both of the public good and of private rights.
madison concluded that we must be far more realistic about popular majorities. all civilized societysites he complains, quote, are divided into different interests and factions as they happen to be creditors or debtors, rich or poor, merchants or manufacturers, members of different religious sects. followers of different political leader, inhabitants' disdistricts, owners of separate property, et cetera in a democracy the debtors outnumber the creditors and the for outnumber the rich. the larger group can simply outvote the smaller one. the majority, however, composed, he continued, quoting him, ultimately give the law, whenever therefore on apparent interest or common passion unites a majority, what is to restrain them from unjust violations of the rights and interests of the minority or of individuals?
to illustrate the problem, madison posed the following thought experiment. quote, place three individuals in the situation where the interests of each depends on the voice of the others, and gives two of. the an interest opposed to the rights of the third. will the latter be secure? the prudence of every man which shunned the danger, he said, likewise, he asks, will 2,000 in a like situation be less likely to encroach upon the rights of the 1,000? no short, under the democratic version of republicanism of the day, there is nothing stopping a majority of the -- from engaging at the expense of the minority. madison concluded what was needed was nothing less than a new republican form of government that would address the weakness of democratic state government. while preserving popular sovereignty. as madison put it, quote, to secure the public good and private rights against the
danger of such a faction, and at the same time preserve the spirit and form of popular government is then the great object of which -- to which our inquiries are directed. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> they had be trade the family of -- betrayed the family of white methodism in mississippi, they had basically lifted up a vision of the church which didn't simply prop up things as they were, which didn't simply live in sync with the power structure as it was, but said in a mild way, certainly, but said maybe god's justice is something that the church needs to be moving toward and working for,
and maybe that going to step on toes and worse, in mississippi. so, one of the ways that the conviction story gets told is that the signers spoke out and they got kicked out of mississippi. they didn't all get kicked out of mississippi but there were some who really had no choice but to leave, and just like debbie was talking about, threats to husbands of women who were doing this, he same kind of thing. if you're livelihood is threatened, of course, blacks lived with this much worse in mississippi but if your livelihood is threatened, that's one of the primary ways to respond, without putting on a white robe. >> i could go on all day here with this but i want to make sure that the audience gets some of their questions and so i think right now we're going to open it up for questions from the audience, so the mic is right in the center so if you --
please go around to the mic to ask your question. and then our panelists will respond. >> thank you, great panel. i have a question. so with the book that you all have written, i'm curious to know what name do you give that's that you're talking about, that keeps people from doing, stymies them to be able to act. now it's fair but why would sane people -- my definition of insanity is when sane people -- okay -- are complicit in a system that allows insanity -- in other words, to commit interpersonal violence is something wrong and get away with of the. it's an insane -- it boggles the mind trying to understand if you try to understand it. so, what allows sane people to
continue to allow this to go on in a system, community, culture, that has made its living off the backs of the victims or the vulnerable, whatever name you want to give to them. so to me everything behavior. like the interpersonal violence of domestic violence. so the victim is -- has to be her on victor or his own victor in that same situation. we're just now coming to deal with these things in a david form or fashion. so, why -- how do we allow this to go on? how do we reconcile ourselves -- i don't care if you use religion or what have you -- what name do you give to it? i give itself, it's all complicit, of course, we're all connected. but i give it as a grieving.
so there's this potential fear of death and there's this fear of not being immortal. a self-preservation and this partiality allows groups to then be fearful they will not survive and everything that they do is formed out of that premise. so, everything else is privilege -- privilege is what that is but i think it's deeper than privilege -- is a means. everything else is a means to that end so that that fear of not surviving, bullying or whatever you want to call it, is addressed constantly, over and over, throughout history. no matter where you look. so what names do y'all give to it? i'm curious. why should i as a sane person reconcile -- right -- to anyone who is threatening my business? who consistently continues to eradicate one individual after
another and continues to change the name of what they want to call that eradication. >> do you want to start, jason? >> i was really sweating answering this question and then you gave me a better answer than i could come up with myself but i'll pickyback on those. i think there's a system yuck understanding of this, whether it's visceral, whether you know it or not, i go back through several generations and at no point did people lack the ability to understand that somehow this act of violence was connected to their comfort or their protection or certainly no point at which they did anyone not understand that ratting out your neighbor or betraying the white race was not an option or was very, very risky option. the most clear indication i see throughout that it's systemic and that people have some
understanding about this, when i try to look for threads that connection the generations, violence does and there's a violent, visceral reaction, every single time, even if it's not lynching in the '60s, it is head start, a visceral reaction to the economic threat of head start. but in every single case, black women are quitting job in white kitchens. every single time. and people are flipping out. the people are scared. they're doing it in world war i because of the great migration. in world war ii for economic opportunity on the coasts, going to mobile, soldiers sending home money and their mom is quitting. people think that eleanor roosevelt is behind all of this, they called it the eleanor clubs. big conspiracy theory, and then in the '60s it's head start. you triple your weekly wage biz going to cork to a federally funned program where the checks
come straight from washington, and every single case that is a prelude to violence. violence against women, violence against children. that's when i see red. >> i'm state senator jordan from greenwood. was just listening to civil rights history one, and i assumed you was talking about what the church was doing, but it i got news for you in the mississippi delta, whose who didn't wear sheets were citizen council, and growing up in that system, son of a sharecropper, i find that many whites didn't say anything because of fear. not that they war not good people. but they were afraid for their own lives.
but the enjoyed the system as it were because they didn't speak out. as a retired teacher, they would -- back in '62, when i was teaching public school, you had to -- the commission and all of used a teachers had to sign a oath we didn't belong to the naacp at that time. so, as a person who has written about my era, from the cotton field to state senate, it's been a very good sell are -- i know what you are saying and what is happening. what brought it back. because automation. brought about the change so john stennis were over, friends of the program and i remember when he cut it out. so we're not talking about anybody who had any compassion for poor people. none of them had any compassion.
those who were white, who cared, didn't let anybody know. so the omission is as bad as submission, so we talk about this now, but what we have is a beautiful state, 3.1 million. what we need to talk about now, how we can make mississippi become an oasis by working together. i don't think some of the white brothers and sisters, african-americans have a slave mentality or anything like that. so, attending the maple till trial and seeing who was there and how they treated people and being in the senate for 24 years since i retired and had the -- as a classroom teacher and seeing all of this, and in 2011, -- that was shot back in
'63 and was being filmed in -- came back 45 years later in 2011, and they were him inning it at my -- filming it at my home, part oft it. then we went to a white church in greenwood, a white audience, a lady was talking about -- from the film, in 1963, how we kept the people in their place and so forth, and i was asking questions and made in comment is was glad that we were able to eradicate that kind of thinking, and on that night, shots were fired into my home. 2011. in a state senator's home. got it recorded in my book from the cotton field to said senate. so you don't care, unless they become a metta more sis of ideology and we're just spinning our wheels and as the slave,
when they learn how to read and went to white churches they were reading the bible, and the white man was reading it. he said he must have another book in there because the one i understand doesn't say that. so, what we need to do is to get real and realize we got real problems. the civil war is over, 247 years of free labor is enough to punish a people who have been -- no one else -- came into the bottom of a shave, not waving at the statue of lisch. so it's time to get real and do the correction, and white people as well some blacks have to undergo a a change in attitude and realize i made a mistake because of the different colors. got a problem with me being black, don't bother me.
>> do we have time for a response? >> i think we have to -- i think that statement really makes the point that the residue of jim crow is still very much with us in this country, and i think the question is, how do we continue to erase that stain? so, i want to thank all of your panelists for coming here today to help us explore those questions. i urge you to read all of their books because i think those questions that you have will -- you'll find the answers in their book. so thank you all for coming today, and i want to thank our sponsors and the mississippi book festival for inviting us all here today. thank you very much. [applause]
booktv's live coverage of the mississippi book festival with continue in a few minutes. up next, a panel on the history of mississippi and for a complete schedule go to booktv.org. >> indiana university press. what are some of the books you have coming out this season? >> well, i would say our top two books this season are "trapped in a round" and "hopeless but optimistic." the first one is written by a woman, iranian born but currently lives in ireland and her story is a memoir about her desperate journey to freedom. so she was married in ireland and she had a daughter there,
she noted divorced, went back to iran. she met a man she had known as a teenager, and she started to date him. and he end up being a little bit crazy. she got pregnant, and then she moved back to ireland. she wanted her daughter to be born an irish citizen. what happened is when her daughter was 13 months old she thought she wanted to introduce her to her father. she heard that he had been married and she kind of assumed he was no longer obsessed with her. what happens is when she got back, he basically held her and her daughter hostage for the next five years. he had her accused of adultery, which is punishable by stoning, and also when her daughter was turning seven years old she was going to lose custody of hereintoly because in iran the man, when they child turns seven, can basically just take the child and the mother no longer has any rights. so this is her story of trying
to escape. they had three really physical escape attempts. one which included climbing thousands of feet through a mountain while her daughter was five and getting sick and they eventual he did make it out. they're signing books here today. and she is -- i mean they're fantastic now. but it is really interesting story because you can look at her life there, and she was lucky because she had a skill that most people don't have, which is she spoke english. so the way she survived is by teaching. but it's interesting because you see all of these different stories that she tells of other women in iran, and it's just -- it's really sad to see what is actually happening over there. >> how did you acquire that book? >> actually, it's really interesting because this book came to us because of our reputation for a the middle east scholarly books. so sammy sent it to us, and within two hours, i think four of us had read the first six
chapters or so and signed it. it really is -- i want to say one of the best books i've read in the last ten years and that's not just a publicist talking. >> what else do you want to share with us? >> the other book here i have that i want to share is "hopless but optimistic." he is a famous journalist, written for "the new york times," "salon," and he went to afghanistan to cover the war. multiple times and this is the story of his third trip there, after 11 years. it's actually about are -- he wrote another become called "fundingfunding the enemy" and a combination of the journalist's story, the story about being a journalist in that type of situation, but also it's about the people, and how everybody started off as hopeless, but they've now become optimistic. and doug has done phenomenal job
here of capturing both the hopeless and optimistic part and also done a good job at making the situation funny. there are various things in the book. you typically looks at books on afghanistan and it can be depresses but he does a good job making it a little lighthearted, too. >> that's a quick preview on booktv of what is coming out this season from indiana university press. >> booktv visited capitol hill to ask members of come what they're reading this summer. >> i have a variety of things. it's hard to just say exactly what the list will be because i'm kind of a spontaneous book reader. 'll start reading a book and i usually have a couple going at one time, and then i'll run across an article or some reference to a become and say issue got to take a look at that one. so it's a journey i never know -- really never planned as i move forward, put as far as my plans for the summer, one theme that i have going -- in fact i'm
reading a book that now i hadn't read since i was in college actually, back when i was studying in college. read other book called "and the art of motorcycle maintenance" which is was drawn to because i'm a passionate motorcyclist. i do in my free time. but the book is really about motorcycles that and maintenance and also a philosophical book, and i remember really being taken by that book back in the late 1970s, when i read it. so i thought it's time to pick it up and read it again and i'm starting to read it right now. about a man's journey with his son across the country, and then gets in depth in our relation with technology and much broader discussion about some of the -- big issues, pressing fill solve
cav issues in the late '70s just as relevant today, and i'm going to do an across michigan motorcycle ride as part of my activities this summer to get in connection with folks. i have harley davidson. i'm going to be doing town hall meet examination meet with local journalist in rural counties in michigan. going to be at coffee shops and do a little town hall meetings. people can join me on the ride as we good from up to to town. so i picked that book up to read it again. and another book i'm reading right now is by the eminent biologist, edward will son and his social conquest of the earth and which talk as a human's journey and how individual selection and group selection form who we are and talks about how societies are really constructed and are strong as a result of some of these evolutionary avenues we have taken as a species, and i've
just ordered the "meaningmeaninf human existence." so i'm looking forward to reading the continuation of his social conquest book. then we'll see where the rest have summer leads. i'm sure other topics will pop up to keep me reading. >> booktv wants to know what your reading this summer. tweet us your answer,@booktv or post it on our facebook page, affection.com/booktv. >> with regard to the haitian revolution, that rare event, a successful revolt of the enslaved, you cannot begin to understand the haitian revolution unless one sees this spectacular event in some ways as a sequel to the revolt against british rule in north
america in 1776 that led to the formation of the slave-holding republican, still known as the united states of america. that is to say, as i argued in my book, the counterrevolution of 1776, contrary to this broadway musical that uses a hip-hop form, such as "hamilton" and contrary to what is routinely taught in schools from the atlantic to the pacific, the foundation of the united states of america in 1776 took place in no small measure because it was revolt against insipient abolitionism in london and seemed to slug that slave property, which even then in north america was worth in millions, might be head for the dust bin of history as i explained in some detail in the book "the counterrevolution of
1776." and just as those in the state now known as zimbabwe, then known as rhodesia or southern rhodesia, revolted against british rule in november 1965 pause they thought that london was moving towards decolonialization and one person, one vote, leading to african majority rule and rather than accept that they tried to continue their white racist minority regime by setting up thus any state of row rhodesia. they said they were walking in the footsteps of 1776, that is to say that 1776 was an attempt to escape the logic of abolitionist slavery, and southern africa was an attempt to escape the logic of decolonialization and one person one vote and african majority rule. you cannot nunn trials experienced by people of african
descent in north america unless you understand they fought against the formation of the united states of america. they sided with london and its tempt attempt to crush the slave holder rebellion just like the africans did not accept the establishment of the new state of rhodesiain' 1965 and if you fight a war and lose you can expect to be penalized forever more unless and until you're able to turn the tables against your oppressors, and one of the ways we were able to turn the tables against our oppressors was through the haitian revolution, 1791 to 1804, which follows quickly upon the footsteps of the formation of the u.s. constitution and the first convening of congress in some ways it was a rebuke and a
reputation of this new slave-holding, which is why i start the book with u.s. president george washington expressing reservations about the haitian revolution, what was come to be known as the haitian revolution in any case what happens is that the africans in the islands, then known as hispaniola, were able to succeed against the french military. one of the most powerful examples of valor and fortitude known to history to this point, and establish this independent black republic in 1804, but as you might have surmised there was grave consternation in the slave-holding republic about the success and the victory of the haitian revolution. youthful may recall that if you look at many of the major slave revoles that rocked north america, in the period leading
tub the u.s. civil war, denmark revolt, circa 1821-22 in south carolina, nat turner's revolt, 1831 in virginia, the all had the fingerprints of haiti all over them, particularly gabriel's revolt in virginia in 1800 which takes place at the same time as the haitian revolution is unfolding, and also den mark vestee's revolt, recall that denmark vessey was a sea fairer and purportedly i part of his aim and ambition was to not only revolt against slavery and then escape with numerous formerly enslaved but perhaps even to sail on to freedom in the islands, then ruled by africans. that is to say, haiti. now, what is interesting about
many of these revolts is that they're not unlike other revolts that are taking place within he hemisphere in which there is either inspiration by the haitian revolutionaries or direct instigation by the haitian revolution areas. in fact -- revolutionaries. the argument i make in the book is the haitian revolution ignited a general crisis of the entire slave system that could only be resolved with that system's collapse. so if you're trying to understand why slavery collapsed in north america, you should not only look within the four corners of north america, but you should look to haiti, and as i said in the previous become, "negro comrade to the crown" you should. look to the inspiration, if not the instigation of british abolitionists in london. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org.
>> the second annual mississippi book festival will continue live from jackson in just a few minutes on booktv. >> welcome, everyone. i'm chris goodwin with the mississippi department of archives and history. please silence your cell phones. c-span is recording these sessions. this is the mississippi history panel. sponsored by beard and ricer architects architects architects and nautilus publishing we thank the legislature for letting us use the beautiful mississippi state capitol this year for the book festival. we could not ask for a lovelier spot to be. all of our authors, all of our panelis are authors. all of their books are available for sale outside today, and they
will all be signing copies of their works. you can find the schedule for a when they'll be available to sign in your program. and i encourage you al all to visit with him. thank you for doing this. this is wonderful and we're excited about it. our moderator for the panel today is jerry healthridge, the distinguished author of "theodore roosevelt and the assassin and the campaign of 1912" and the fantastic book "high cotton. ." >> thank you, chris. thank you for choosing to come to the mississippi history panel this afternoon. we're fortunate we have authors of four really interesting becomes that cover the range, the spire range of mississippi history, from the earliest historic epic to the late 20 them century, so we can't ask for a better panel of authors
and a wider range of mississippi history to talk about today. i would like to introduce the authors before we start. to my far left, is jim barnett. he is retired director of historic properties, division of the mississippi department of archives and history. he is the author of two books publish bid the university press of mississippi. the first its "mississippi's american indians" published in 201. the second is "a history to 1735 which is what he will be discussing today." his third poock, "beyond control" the mississippi rivers now channel to the gulf of mexico, will be published by the university press next year. jim lives in naches. next to jim is jim woodrick. since 1997 he has worked for the mississippi department of archives and history, is direct
you or the historic preservation division and was a sites historian and as a lifelong student of civil war, also a member of the jackson civil war roundtable and historians of the western theater. his book, which is published by history press, its called "the civil war siege of jackson, mississippi." next to jim is anne webster, who retired two years ago from mdah. there's a pattern here. where she had assisted researchers for 35 years. her first poock for the university press of mississippi -- there's another pattern, i guess -- with co-author kathleen hutchinson was tracing your mississippi ancestors which received the author oses award for nontexas from the mississippi library association in 1995. and today anne will be discussing her second book for the university press, which is"
mississippians and the great war: selected letters." and finally to my immediate left, is lee annis, a native of maryland, a long-time professor of hoyt at montgomery college. he is the author of "biography: howard baker, con sillator in the age of crisis" and with senator william frist, co-awe or of the "tess this senators" his new book is" the godfather of miss "published last month by the university press of mississippi. so, i have a couple of questions for our panelists to get things started. but i'm hoping the audience will also have questions. so, if you have a question, please stand at the lectern here in the center of the rom, and
form a line behind and that will be our signal you have a question, and we'll break away at the earliest possible opportunity and you can ask your question. so, my first question for the panel -- i thought we could good in chronological order -- not by author's age but with the period covered by the' history of the books -- is would you please briefly describe your book and tell us how you came to write the book and what drew you to the subject of the book. so startling with jim, blows. >> i think my age qualifies me as chronologically the oldest anyway. my book, the history of the naches indians, to 1735, covers the history of what i think is one of the most important american indian groups in north america, and if you look at the
history really from the beginning of the lasalleed and digs, it's only about 35 years e period we had major events that take place that shaped the lower mississippi valley and mississippi and louisiana until today, and on into the future. we have had the establishment of french louisiana, the french colony, based on the gulf coast. there was the rise and fall of the indian slave trade, something not many people are very familiar with. i covered them in my book and there are other books that cover it in much more detail. a third thing is the coming to the lower mississippi valley of john law's company of the indies which brought thousands of people over here from france to settle in the lower mississippi valley.
and finally, the french establishment of fort rose in naches in august of 1716. 300 years ago this month. and in naches we just had a big celebration to commemorate that. these were huge events, and just a 50-year time period. the naches indians were flight the middle of it. they were key players mainly because of their location on the mississippi river. there had been a number of articles written about the naches, mainly concerned with their ceremonial culture, things about them that today really make them distinguished from other american indian groups in this area. but the only history that had been written before i did my book was wherein in -- written in 1911 by an excellent
historian, john swan, and that was a long time ago and a lot of things changed since he wrote his history, especially ideas how we look at the american indian societies that were here when europeans came to colonize. to the ideas have changed and mature quite a bit and i hope what i have -- the way i said it in my book is an up to date and modern look at this very important indian group. you ask how i came to write this book. i've been interested in naches indians for a long time. i was fortunate enough to have my office at the grand village of the naches indians for 33 years. so i really had a chance to study the naches culture, just
by chance i wrote an article for the journal of mississippi history on the african slave trade, the domestic slave trade in north america, which is not something i am an expert in by any means but i wrote the article, and craig gill from the university press, contacted me and said, would you like to write a book about the slave trade? and i said i'd rather write a book about indians-something i know about. so that kind of how that came about. and as to my interest in history, i credit that to dinosaurs and davey crockett. when i was a kid i found out through those sources and walt disney what a wonderful place the past is, and how you get to it through books and the way you get to visit that place, and so i'm proud to be participating in this. >> thank you, jim.
so, jim woodrick would you tell us about the civil war siege of jackson, mississippi. >> i'd be able to first i want to echo what chris said. an or to be here in this beautiful place and so glad you're here and participating in the book festival, it's a wonderful event. i guess i'll start with how the book came about. it managed somewhat locational as well. had worked in downtown jackson for 30 years or so, and have the privilege of working next door to our old capitol museum, and i've been a student of the civil war, particularly in mississippi, for most of my life, and as all of you are, well acquainted with the vicksburg campaign. i had realized that there was part of that story that had not been told, and that is what occurred directly after the siege of vicksburg, which ended on july 4, 1863. and that's the jackson campaign,
and the siege of jackson. and as i looked around, i remember one day i was reading a diary entry and there was a union soldier who was writing his wife and he was sitting on the south stoop of the state capitol building at that time. wasn't the whole capitol yet. and he said he was -- he couldn't go inside to tour it because they had guards posted. so i thought, that's a shame. but then i thought, well, i'm looking out the window as i'm reading this at the spot where that soldier sat. so, i decided at that point that i needed to do something about that. and a dear friend approached me years before about redoing an earlier book on the battle and seem -- siege of jackson. he had he audacity to die before we got the project done but the idea stayed witch in and the result this seeming of jackson book.
very briefly, the seeming of -- siege of jackson took place in 1863 and follows the surrender of the arm idea a vicksburg, grant send sherman back toward jackson to deal with an army under the -- confederate army under the commend of joseph johnston. johnson has been dallying around and hides in madison county throughout may and june with about 33,000 men under an army called the army of relief. the object of the army was to relieve vicksburg but never made an attempt to do that. but he was a skilled commander, and grant could not leave that army in his rear and then abandon vicksburg back to the confederates. so the siege took place for a week's time in jackson -- i'm not going to give you too many
details because i want you buy the book but i will say that for a week, there were 70,000 men, blue and gray, right here in downtown jackson. in fact the spot where we now was at the time the state penitentiary. there's no connection between the capitol and the penitentiary, but the fighting took place all around us and i hope from this book people will be able to appreciate that history took place right rear amongst us. >> thank you. anne webster, tell us about "mississippians and the great war." i'm a research librarian, not a historian, and i was in that capacity at the state archives for a very long time, and i assisted researchers from all over the world coming to do research in our facility. and we used to have a collection development meetings and we would come up with -- we have gaps in the lex are collection