Diversity and Community Engagement

The University of Mississippi

“Black Power at Ole Miss”: Remembrance, Reckoning, and Repair at Fifty Years

The University of Mississippi invited UM students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the LOU community to a series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the protests and mass arrests of Black students which took place at the University of Mississippi on February 25, 1970. This was sponsored by the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, with support from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and the Office of the Provost.

Black Power at Ole Miss: Remembrance, Reckoning, and Repair at Fifty Years was held February 24 and 25 at various locations and times on the University of Mississippi campus. The detailed schedule of events was as follows:

February 24, 2020 | Fulton Chapel | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: film screening, a panel discussion moderated by professor and author Ralph Eubanks (UM ’78), and a staged reading of the hearings of eight students who were expelled in 1970 with attorney John Brittain

February 25, 2020 | Student Union Ballroom | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: a luncheon for current and former University of Mississippi students and alumni, sponsored by the Black Student Union, the Black Alumni Association, the African American Studies Department, and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

February 25, 2020 | Fulton Chapel | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: a commemorative ceremony at the site of the arrests

February 25, 2020 | Student Union Ballroom | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Black History Month Keynote with Dr. Yusef Salaam, one of “The Exonerated Five.”

This event grew from the work of the Parchman Oral History Project, a documentary storytelling project on incarceration in Mississippi initiated in summer 2019 by Dr. Garrett Felber, Assistant Professor of History. Five students recorded over a dozen oral histories with former student activists who were arrested during a series of mass arrests at high schools and universities across the state in 1970, many at the University of Mississippi.

Black Power at Ole Miss remembered and honored the activism and sacrifice of Black students, reckoned with the harm and trauma caused by the actions of the university and federal and state law enforcement, and continually seeks reparative solutions grounded in truth-telling and justice. An online archive with photos and interviews from the historic event is available to view here.

Schedule of events for "Black Power at Ole Miss": Remembrance, Reckoning, and Repair at Fifty Years