N’siders receive awards from historical society

The Mississippi Historical Society named the best Mississippi history book of 2018, announced the recipient of its lifetime achievement award, honored the history teacher of the year, and presented other awards at its annual meeting, held in Natchez.

Two of the major awards were presented to Northsiders.

James F. Barnett Jr. won the Dunbar Rowland Award, given in recognition of his major contributions to the study and interpretation of Mississippi history. Barnett joined the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 1981 as site administrator of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. He became the first director of the newly established Historic Properties Division in 1982.

During his tenure, Barnett helped oversee the reconstruction of the Coker House, a significant landmark property on the Champion Hill Battlefield, and was actively involved in the nomination of the “Forks of the Road” Slave Market site in Natchez to the National Register of Historic Places.

Barnett authored “The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735” (2007), “Mississippi’s Natchez Indian’s (2013), and “Beyond Control: The Mississippi River’s New Channel to the Gulf of Mexico” (2017).

“Resisting Equality: The Citizens’ Council, 1954-1989,” by Millsaps College professor of history Stephanie R. Rolph, was awarded the McLemore Prize for best Mississippi history book of 2018. The book, published by Louisiana State University Press, examines the creation of the Citizens’ Council and their efforts to oppose desegregation.

“Dr. Rolph’s analysis of the Citizens’ Council drew from an impressive range of archival collections. In telling this history, she found and reviewed sources like Council-sponsored radio programming that had been untapped by previous historians,” said Kempker. “Dr. Rolph extended her study into the 1970s and ’80s and demonstrated how the Council nationalized and even internationalized their ‘messages of grievance,’ which impressed the McLemore Committee members.”


Awards of Merit were presented to Sam Brookes of Jackson, for his work returning Native American artifacts from Ohio to the state of Mississippi; and Heather Wilcox for the Mt. Olive Cemetery Project in Hinds County.

Newly elected officers include Marshall Bennett, vice president; and Brother Rogers, secretary-treasurer.




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