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.

Cooper’s lecture will discuss the history and legacy of the Jubilee Singers, from its founding in the early years of the institution where the group accompanied Utica’s founder, William Holtzclaw, on fundraising trips to northern donors to its revival in the 1970s under Dr. Cooper’s direction. The talk will provide an in-depth overview of the music program on the Utica campus, paired with selections from the Jubilee’s extensive repertoire.

Dr. Bobby Cooper is the Humanities Division chair, instructor of music and choral director on the Hinds-Utica campus. He has taught at the institution for 43 years and is currently the longest serving employee in the Hinds district. Dr. Cooper received degrees from Tougaloo College, the University of Illinois and the University of Colorado, as well as additional study at Chicago Music College. During his illustrious teaching career, Cooper has received many awards including the Lifetime of Excellence Teaching Award, William Winter Scholar, Hinds Hero Award, and Humanities Teacher of the Year recognition. Dr. Cooper is also a long serving minister of music at Asbury United Methodist Church in Bolton and organist at Pratt United Methodist Church in Jackson.

“Black Man’s Burden: William Holtzclaw and the Mississippi HBCU Connection” is a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to highlight the work of William Holtzclaw, a pioneer in African American education. The project will contribute to a growing body of research and interest in the “Little Tuskegees” as important forerunners of the Civil Rights Era in the Deep South.

William Holtzclaw is the founder of the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute, which later became Utica Junior College, and is now Hinds Community College-Utica.

This two year research program is designed to equip faculty and student-scholars to explore themes in Holtzclaw’s writing in humanities courses, combined with the development of a Summer Teachers’ Institute and teaching resource kit that will be used by other institutions (both on the high school and community college level) to extend the work beyond the institution.