In this republished ProPublica article, Seth Freed Wessler explains that, despite layers of federal and state regulations nominally intended to protect culturally significant sites, the expansion of a Microsoft data center inspired authorities in Virginia to desecrate a historic cemetery.
Shannon Evans details the similarities between plantation tourism and blues tourism, both of which employ similar mechanisms of erasure, nostalgia, and mythology. By relying on romanticized narratives that align with the expectations of white tourists, both blues and plantation tourism are detached from the historical realities of the African American experience.
Shannon Evans examines the white supremacist violence and turmoil that plagued the political career of Robert Gleed, an African American politician from Lowndes County who served as Senator and Columbus Alderman during Reconstruction.
Shannon Evans examines the struggle for education for African Americans after the Civil War in Lowndes County, and she highlights the politics of respectability embraced by William Isaac Mitchell, an African American educator and community leader who served as principal of Union Academy from 1878 until his death in 1916.
In this blog post, archival research specialist Dr. Abdul Ajibola takes a trip to the Mississippi Department of Archives & History in Jackson and makes some amazing discoveries in death certificates from 1912-1926.
Although the Mississippi Blues Trail marker installed in 2009 to purportedly further “racial reconciliation” and rehabilitate the state’s image as an intransigent racist backwater claims that he was buried in Pelahatchie, Mississippi (based on the information written on his death certificate), his remains actually never made it back to the Magnolia State–a fact that Mexican American blues artist, custodian, and Mt. Zion Memorial Fund affiliate Gabriel Soria discovered in the early 1990s, when he raised the funds to mark his actual gravesite. Eschewing the Manifest Destiny-like memorialization process of the Blues Commission, Soria tracked down the descendants of the “Blues King,” learned the actual location of his remains, and worked with them to design and install his headstone in Union Cemetery in Bakersfield, California.