Friday, March 24, 2023

Can you spot Anne Moody in this photo?


On Thursday, March 2, 2023, I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Ed King at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society. During our conversation, he recommended the book, “Sanctuaries of Segregation: The Story of the Jackson Church Visit Campaign” (2017) by Carter Dalton Lyon. He also said that Anne Moody was on the front cover, beautifully dressed.

For more information on the book, please follow the link below.

#ComingOfAgeinMississippi #CivilRights #BlackHistory #MississippiHistory

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Dr. Megan Hines to speak at March 28 meeting of Natchez Historical Society

She will give preview of fall exhibit by Natchez native Noah Saterstrom at Mississippi Museum of Art

Dr. Megan Hines

NATCHEZ, Miss. – Dr. Megan Hines, a postdoctoral fellow of art history at the Mississippi Museum of Art and Millsaps College, will be the guest speaker at the March 28 meeting of the Natchez Historical Society. Her presentation is titled, “What Became of Dr. Smith: Painting A Hidden Mississippi History.”
The meeting will be held at the Historic Natchez Foundation, 108 S. Commerce St., with a social starting at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation at 6:00. It is free and open to the public.
Hines will provide a preview of the solo exhibition of the same name by Natchez native Noah Saterstrom in October 2023 at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Hines is the curator of the show. Dr. Smith is Saterstrom’s great-grandfather.

In her NHS lecture, Hines will speak about who Dr. Smith was and the mystery surrounding his disappearance from family history. Saterstrom’s painting, which is mural-sized, is 120 by 6 feet, and consists of 160 panels, some of which are set in Natchez, according to Alan Wolf, a director of NHS and its program chair.
“Having found Dr. Smith in the historical record, Noah in this work traces Dr. Smith through his life, times, and places in the State,” Wolf said. “This is a painting that, intriguingly and revealingly, depicts aspects of Mississippi history through a pictorial biography of a single and singular person.”
According to Hines, the painting “envisions the life of Saterstrom’s great-grandfather, an itinerant optometrist whose mental illness and subsequent disappearance resulted in his erasure from the family history.”
During several years of research, Saterstrom found that Dr. Smith was institutionalized for the final 40 years of his life in the Mississippi State Insane Hospital (the Old Asylum) in Jackson, Miss., and later at nearby Whitfield, from 1925-65.
Hines said that Saterstrom work on Dr. Smith has grown in popularity. In fact, over the past three years, Saterstrom sold more than 1,300 paintings related to his history and family. This has resulted in a large following on social media, including an international audience.
Hines holds a doctorate in art history, which she earned at Stony Brook University. According to her biography, her dissertation, “Art and Biotech: Bay Area Networks, 1965-85,” focused on changing visualizations of life and identity in the age of biotechnology.
Hines’ work as a curatorial assistant has included such exhibitions as “Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day” at the American Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and “Postwar—Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-65,” shown at the Haus der Kunst in Munich in 2016.
Hines is published in Media-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus. She has another article that is forthcoming in American Art.
According to Wolf, Hine’s visit to Natchez will be her second. “She is enthused to come here and offer us an advance look at the show,” he said. “How fitting for Natchez that it should be so!”
For more information, visit or send email to

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Wharlest Jackson Jr. to appear on panel to discuss his family’s story on ‘American Reckoning’

Event hosted by Syracuse University College of Law

Wharlest Jackson Jr.

NATCHEZ, Miss. – Wharlest Jackson Jr. will be traveling to Syracuse University to join a panel discussion on the PBS Frontline documentary, “American Reckoning,” his sister, Denise Jackson Ford, announced Monday. He will discuss, among other things, the experiences of his family during the civil rights movement in Natchez in the 1960s.

Wharlest Jr. and Ford are the children of slain civil rights leader Wharlest Jackson Sr. Their father died when his truck was reportedly bombed by members of the Ku Klux Klan in Natchez, on Feb. 27, 1967. No one was ever charged with his racially-motivated murder, and the case remains unsolved.

“American Reckoning” is a documentary that chronicles the life and death of Wharlest Sr. It first aired in February 2022. The film features both Wharlest Jr. and Ford. It follows their family’s efforts to find out what happened to Wharlest Sr. and who was responsible for his murder. The film also examines the history of white supremacy in Natchez.

The upcoming program, which is hosted by  Syracuse University College of Law, is set for Tuesday, March 28, at Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom, Dineen Hall on the school campus, according to a school flyer.

Screening of the film will begin at 5:30 p.m. and be followed by a panel discussion and reception. The entire program is free and open to the public. It will be livestreamed at

Ford said she is grateful to SU for this opportunity. “Syracuse University Cold Case Studies has always been there to support our family along with the students who are involved in their research and education,” she said. “We want to support Syracuse University.”

In addition to Wharlest Jr., other panelists will include Paula Johnson, professor of Law and director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative, and Brad Lichtenstein, film producer. Chanelle Benz, assistant professor of Creative Writing in the SU department of English, will serve as moderator.

For Ford, her brother’s participation in the program is another opportunity for her family to stand and be proud of their father’s contributions, especially his sacrifice to the civil rights movement.

“To walk like a giant in the footsteps of those who have gone on before us, I walk with my father today,” she said. “I am always elated when an event happens to memorialize my father. He stood for our city and state. I am proud of Wharlest Sr..”

For more information, contact Professor Paula Johnson by email at

The film can be viewed at

Monday, March 20, 2023

Mayor Dan M. Gibson recognizes Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture at meeting of Natchez Board of Aldermen

By Roscoe Barnes III

Mayor Dan M. Gibson, right, recognizes Bobby Dennis for his work on African American history in Natchez. They are joined by Alderwoman Valencia Hall.  

NATCHEZ, Miss. -- I was happy to see the Award of Merit news highlighted on the screen for Facebook Live and YouTube Live at the meeting of the Natchez Board of Aldermen on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

In his report, Mayor Dan M. Gibson noted the Mississippi Historical Society had honored the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture, and the City of Natchez as winners of the 2023 Award of Merit on Friday, March 3, at its 2023 annual meeting in Jackson. Gibson’s wife, Marla, attended the event on his behalf.

The award was given for the combined work of the museum and the city in posting 27 historical markers for African American sites throughout Natchez in February.

During the BOA meeting Tuesday, the mayor called up Bobby Dennis, the museum’s director, and recognized him for his contributions to the project, which generated press coverage by the local and regional news media, as well as TV news programs in Jackson and Monroe, La.

Gibson noted the event drew record attendance.

“It was a tremendous day to celebrate together … kicking off that sign campaign,” Gibson said. “I want to say kudos to all of the attendants who supported that. I will forever remember that day as one of the highlights of being mayor.”

The full presentation can be seen on the City of Natchez Facebook page or the City of Natchez page on YouTube. Below is the link to the YouTube page. Start at the 19:00 minute mark:


Thursday, March 9, 2023

Natchez Powwow 2023 returns to two-day tradition

Event set for March 25 and 26 on the Bluff 

Roscoe Barnes III
Mar 8, 2023 | 8:00 AM

This photo was taken at a May 2022 Native American dance in Texas. From left are Lance Harris, longtime powwow participant; Dr. Charles Borum, chairman of the Natchez Powwow; and David Kelly, member of the Osage Nation.

NATCHEZ, Miss. -- The 2023 Natchez Powwow is returning to its two-day weekend tradition. This year’s event will be held on Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26, on the north end of the Natchez Bluff near North Broadway and High streets, announced Dr. Charles Borum, who chairs the event. The cultural festival is free and open to the public.

Last year’s powwow, a single-day event, was held for the first time on the Bluff. It proved to be surprisingly successful, drawing about 1,500 visitors, according to Borum. He said the extra day this year will allow for greater attendance. Traders, food vendors, and the dancers prefer two days, he said, adding the two-day time frame is what attendees are used to having.

“Everything went well last year, and everybody had a good time,” Borum said. “We wanted to play it safe by starting with one day. But when it was over, we found that we had better attendance than we had expected.”

Longtime powwow participant Lance Harris was not surprised by the attendance or by Borum’s dedication. "Chuck Borum has been bringing some of the finest American Indian powwow singing and dancing to the Miss Lou area for over thirty years,” he said. “The Natchez Powwow is an event not to be missed."

Fun for whole family

The Natchez Powwow is an annual event that celebrates the culture of Native Americans. In addition to dance and music, it includes Native American food, arts, and crafts. The Natchez Powwow was started by Borum in 1988. In 2018, the Natchez Powwow was listed as one of the top 20 events of that year by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Borum said the powwow is a wholesome, fun-filled experience for the entire family. “It’s something you have to see and experience in order to fully appreciate what it’s all about. You just have to be there.”

Visitors will hear songs that are up to 300 years old. They’ll also hear the sound of 20 men hitting the drum. The colorful, cultural regalia, which can cost over $1,000, is a popular feature. Borum said a lot of the outfits are specialized. A pair of beaded moccasins will cost from $700 to $1,000, he said. However, some of the clothes are passed down from grandparents.

Reflecting on last year’s powwow, Borum said one of the things that stood out to him was the stick ball game. Students from Adams County Christian School, who played soccer, played a game of stick ball against a Choctaw team from Philadelphia, Miss.

 “That was a neat little exchange,” he said. “The students were excited to play.”

Finding his Osage family

Borum has also been encouraged by the participation of his friend, David Kelley of Natchez. Kelley is a member of the Osage Nation. About two years ago, he contacted Borum for assistance in learning more about his Native American culture.

“He was Osage, but he did not know about the Osage ways,” Borum recalled. “Since then, he’s gotten connected with the Osage family, and this year, Osage relatives plan to come and be with him at this dance. In May, he’s going to Oklahoma where he and his family will be given Osage names.”

Kelley said he is now all into this journey. Growing up, he and his family had their Osage membership, but “no one handed down the culture.” As he got older, he started wondering, “What is out there?”

“I reached out to Chuck because I had a desire to touch base with my Osage family,” Kelley said. “I didn’t know how to go about it. He has a lot of connections and lot of understanding of Native American culture.

“I offered to help with powwow in exchange for him assisting me. I was surprised that he took me under his wings and showed me things to help me with my dance regalia. He blessed me tremendously. He put me in touch with the leadership in Osage Nation. I am so grateful to him.”

While attending Lone Star War Dance in Granbury, Texas, Borum introduced Kelley to Otto Hamilton, a legislator in the Osage congress, and he in turn helped connect Kelley with his relative, Jodie Revard, who is also a legislator with the Osage legislature. 

Kelley said that he and his family are looking forward to being given their Native American names. Having the names will give them a place of honor in the nation, he said. “I’m happy and excited about this. It’s on my mind all the time. My family is super excited, and they want to build their regalia.”

As for the dance, Kelley said it’s hard to explain. Once he got the timing of the drums with his feet, and he experienced the movement of the dance, he found there’s something spiritual about it.

“You feel it deep inside and it gives you a rush,” he said. “I feel connected with the people and the drums. It makes me feel happy and exhilarated. It’s more than just a dance, it’s a connection to something deeper … like your ancestors.”

This year’s program

This year’s program will feature Tim Tallchief, Osage nation of Jones, Okla., who will serve as the master of ceremonies, and Darsh DeSilva of Round Rock, Texas, who will serve as arena director. The late Mike Shawnee, Quapaw nation of Owasso, Okla., is listed on the program as “head singer southern drum” following a request by his friends, according to Borum. “His friends asked us to leave his name on the program,” Borum said. “They will honor him at the drum by fulfilling his obligation as head singer.”

Other participants include Stan Smith, Ponca nation of Muskogee, Okla., as head man dancer; Kristal Glass, Quapaw nation of Stillwater, Okla., as head lady dancer; and Jeffrey “Dude” Blalock, Absentee Shawnee-Peoria of Miami, Okla., as head gourd dancer.

Visitors are asked to bring their own lawn chairs. Alcoholic beverages will be prohibited in the powwow area, as well as the trader and food vending areas.

Saturday’s schedule

9 a.m. -- Food and Craft and Farmer Market Vendors open

11 a.m. -- Traditional Stickball Game

1 p.m. -- Gourd Dance

2 :30 a.m. -- Grand Entry and Intertribal Dancing

4 p.m. -- Camp Feed for Singers and Dancers and family/friends

6 p.m. -- Gourd Dance

7 p.m. -- Grand Entry and Intertribal Dancing

9 p.m. -- Closing

Sunday’s schedule

9 a.m. -- Food and Craft Vendors open

1 p.m. -- Gourd Dance

2:30 p.m. -- Grand Entry and Intertribal Dancing

For more information, visit, or send email to Powwow Chairman Dr. Chuck Borum at


Monday, March 6, 2023

2023 Paper on Anne Moody

On Thursday, March 2, 2023, I had the honor of presenting a paper on Anne Moody at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society. My presentation was titled, “Bringing Her Home: Commemorating Anne Moody in Southern Public Culture.” Event was held at the Two Museums in Jackson. Many thanks to Mississippi Humanities Council for the photo.


The 2023 Natchez Literary & Cinema Celebration in Natchez, Miss.

I'm grateful to Ms. Betty Jo Harris of Co-Lin for inviting me to assist with this exciting program with two distinguished authors.

I must also give a shoutout to Mississippi Humanities Council for its support.

Can you spot Anne Moody in this photo?

#AnneMoody On Thursday, March 2, 2023, I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Ed King at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Histori...