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Holtzclaw Institute @ Hinds-Utica

A Humanities Initative at Hinds Community College, Utica.

Humanities Class Explores Tuskegee Roots

This semester’s research trip in our Introduction to Humanities was centered around our visit to the Tuskegee archives. Students were able to explore the connections between Booker T. Washington and William H. Holtzclaw that we’ve discussed in class through a hands-on tour of the campus. Tuskegee archivist Dana Chandler and assistant director Cheryl Ferguson rooted students’ museum visits in the archival collection, with a moving presentation of the story of the Carver meteorite, along with a presentation on the importance of the archives in understanding the African American experience. While the students were touring Tuskegee sites, the Humanities faculty met with our counterparts at Tuskegee to discuss future partnerships.

See below for photo galleries from our trip!

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Whitney Plantation Offers Glimpse of Slavery

In partnership with the Hinds-Utica leadership class, our humanities students had the opportunity to visit the Whitney Plantation in Wallace, LA. Students were able to learn quite a bit from the only plantation museum in Louisiana focused on the slave experience. Jeffery Fairley, a sophomore majoring in biology/pre-med summed up his experience this way:

Today, I and a few other students had the gracious opportunity to go to the Whitney Plantation in Wallace, Louisiana, and might I say… it was amazing. I have gone to this particular plantation over the summer, but this experience beats the summer’s experience hands down. Today, due to the lax time constraints, I was able to ask more questions, view the property better, and most importantly, digest the mean of this experience. Visiting this place became a heart wrenching experience for me due to the cruelty that took place on such beautiful grounds. Just knowing that I was walking on the land that my fellow brethren use to work in order to keep the masters pocket book happy, saddens me. Just walking through the tour forced me to become teary-eyed a few times, due to the overwhelming emotions that I was experience. The portion of the tour that truly hit home was the Name Wall, the wall were the slaves name were written in print for all to see and speculate forced me to realize that slavery was real and that it was so close to the place I call home. Seeing common names on the board that meant so much to me, like Aaron, Marie, and Baptiste. Knowing president day people who possessed these names deepened my understanding of the unoriginality that existed both today, and back then. I have always heard that there was nothing new under the sun, but that parable never had any effect on me until viewing those names on that wretched wall for all to see and marvel. The institution of slavery sickens me, and I am very thankful for the opportunity that students like me are able to fully understand and visit sites like this to cement the learning of this demeaning practice.

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Holtzclaw Lecture: Alysia Steele’s Delta Jewels!

Join us on Wednesday, October 25th for our annual Holtzclaw Lecture, featuring photojournalist and journalism professor Alysia Burton Steele. Steele, a journalism professor at the University of Mississippi, will be discussing her oral history project and book, Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom. Hear the story behind the making of the book featuring stories from African American elder women, who share poignant highlights of their lives during the Jim Crow-era Mississippi.  The talk begins at 1pm in the Amphitheater on the Utica Campus.

Inaugural Summer Institute Kicks Off

We kicked off our first Holtzclaw Summer Teacher’s Institute this week by bringing together educators from around the country (and world!) for a week of discussion centered around our shared reading list. In July, the participants will visit the campus for a week of face-to-face study culminating in the creation of a teaching unit the participants will be able to use in their own contexts.

 

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Announcing the “Performing Jubilee” Public Lecture

As part of an ongoing National Endowment for the Humanities grant at Hinds Community College-Utica, “The Black Man’s Burden: William H. Holtzclaw and the Mississippi HBCU Connection,” the Humanities Department at Hinds CC-Utica is pleased to announce the third public talk in the Holtzclaw Lecture Series. The Holtzclaw Lecture Series is designed to bring nationally recognized scholars and experts on African American education in the South for public lectures in a variety of venues around the state.

Bobby G. Cooper will be delivering a talk entitled “Performing Jubilee: The History & Legacy of the Utica Jubilee Singers” on Tuesday, April 11th at 6 pm. The lecture will take place in the Auditorium of the Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center on the Hinds-Utica campus.

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New Humanities Cohort

We’ve kicked off our next offering of Introduction to the Humanities with an excellent group of students. This term, we have students pursuing projects in a wide variety of areas related to Holtzclaw and his work. We have several teams investigating the history of basketball on the campus. They’re making plans to conduct oral history interviews with members of the Sports Hall of Fame who were at Utica in the 50s,60s, and 70s. We have a student who is working on publishing the historical tour app which was started last semester and another who is working on annotations for Black Man’s Burden.

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Team Presents Work at NAAAS

The love of the humanities was in the air as several members of the team spent Valentine’s Day at an academic conference with hundreds of scholars from around the globe at the National Association of African American Studies (NAAAS) Conference in Dallas. Our session covered the process of creating an interdisciplinary team-taught humanities course to teach institutional history. We created the presentation to help instructors at other institutions consider methods of exploring local history with their students.

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Apply Now for the Holtzclaw Summer Institute

This summer, join your colleagues for the Holtzclaw Summer Institute on Southern Black Education. This two week project will allow participants the opportunity to explore the life and legacy of William H. Holtzclaw, the founder of the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute, which later became Utica Junior College and Hinds Community College-Utica, an HBCU community college in rural Mississippi. The workshop will cover the role of the “Little Tuskegees” in the Jim Crow South through seminar discussions on the historical context, African American autobiography, incorporating archival work in your classroom, the role of the Black press, and the Utica Jubilee singers. Participants will create a teaching unit for use in their classrooms and to share with other project participants. This project is funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Press

One of the goals of our Introduction to the Humanities class is to provide students with a wide range of experiences related to our field. We were thrilled that Jackson State hosted a fantastic panel this week and we were able to take some of our students. Twelve students, along with Holtzclaw grant participants Jean Greene, Sharon Melton, and Kristi Melancon from MC attended the session.

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