Between 2008 and 2012, institutions and individuals in Mississippi received $5.8 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mississippi Humanities Council for projects that explore the human endeavor and preserve our cultural heritage.
Below are some examples.
- NEH has awarded $230,000 to the Ulysses S. Grant Association, Starkville, to complete a supplementary volume to the Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. This supplement will include correspondence discovered since publication of thirty-one chronological volumes. A digitized version will be prepared as well.
- To call attention to fifty significant places in blues music history, NEH awarded $305,000 for the Mississippi Blues Commission’s Blues Trail. The project includes a website with recorded interviews and music.
- Eighty schoolteachers will attend weeklong workshops, supported by a $179,500 grant, at Millsaps College in Jackson to study the seminal year of 1963, including JFK’s televised speech in support of sweeping civil rights legislation and the murder of Medgar Evers a few hours later.
- Delta State University hosted two weeklong workshops for eighty schoolteachers to study the history and culture of the Mississippi Delta, where the blues were born and Emmett Till was murdered for talking to a white woman.
- Tougaloo College received a $213,500 grant to preserve the personal papers, oral histories, and memorabilia in the school’s civil rights collection, which documents the lives and work of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and other civil rights leaders.
- Civil rights hero Ida B. Wells was a lifelong enemy of bigotry and an important champion of women’s right to vote. With a $100,000 grant, Rust College in Holly Springs is developing a database and website dedicated to her written works and personal history.
- As Hurricane Katrina destroyed a Harrison County art studio on the Gulf Coast in 2005, the rising tides exposed a long-forgotten French colonial cemetery that was abandoned in the early eighteenth century. The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, was awarded a $30,000 grant to excavate.
- The Mississippi Humanities Council hosted New Harmonies, an interactive exhibit on the rich diversity of American music. The Smithsonian Institution exhibit traveled to six communities in 2007 and to an additional six cities in 2011 and 2012.
- In 2011, the Mississippi Humanities Council prepared programs throughout the state for the arrival of Food for Thought, a conversation series about the aesthetics, ethics, and politics of food and the cultural aspects of food preparation in the Deep South.
- The Mississippi Humanities Council funds the Mississippi Oral History Program, at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, which has conducted over 3,500 interviews with state residents “from moonshiners to legislators to civil rights participants to blues singers.”