Overby Center to Host ‘A Conversation About Race’

Free event set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

OXFORD, Miss. – As the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. approaches, the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi is hosting a discussion of race in America, featuring two authorities on the subject.

Gene Dattel, author of “Reckoning with Race: America’s Failure,” and Otis Sanford, who wrote “From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics,” will conduct “A Conversation About Race” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (March 28) in the Overby Center Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available in the lot outside the auditorium, and a reception follows the program.

“These two native Mississippians know about race naturally,” said Curtis Wilkie, Cook Chair and associate professor of journalism. “We look forward to having both of them back at the Overby Center.”

A native of Ruleville who lives in New York, Dattel appeared previously at the Overby Center in connection with his 2009 book, “Cotton and Race in the Making of America.” Mississippian Morgan Freeman said, “Gene Dattel’s book masterfully captures America’s history and its painful legacy.”

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a law degree from Vanderbilt University, he went to work in international finance. Dattel soon developed a reputation for his energetic exploration of racial problems in this country.

Sanford grew up near Como and graduated from UM in 1975. A frequent guest at the Overby Center, he had a distinguished career in journalism before joining the faculty at the University of Memphis, where he holds the Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism.

A former managing editor of the Commercial Appeal, Sanford still writes a Sunday column for the newspaper. His extensive coverage of race in Memphis led to the publication of his book in 2017.

In its review, the Memphis Flyer praised Sanford for his “accuracy and grace” and called his work “a textbook case of how to handle the black and white realities of Memphis’s political evolution with appropriate shadings of gray.”

For more information, contact Curtis Wilkie at 662-915-1787.

Spark Series Covers Starting an Online Business

Free event is Tuesday at Jackson Avenue Center

OXFORD, Miss. – The process seems simple: Launch a business online; make money.

Except the process is not that straightforward, and the next Spark Series at the University of Mississippi covers what business owners need to consider before starting their online ventures, including avoiding pitfalls, digitally marketing their businesses smarter and more.

“Questions You Should Ask Before Launching Your Business Online” is set for 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 20) at the Jackson Avenue Center, Auditorium A.

The free panel discussion is open to the public with no registration necessary. The panel includes Allyson Best, director of the UM Division of Technology Management; Stacey Lantagne, assistant professor of law at the UM School of Law; Neil Olson, former general counsel with mortgage technology company FNC Inc., and startup and tech business consultant; and Jennifer Sadler, UM instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communications.

The event is intended for any new or existing business, any nonprofit or other organization, or any individual who is interested in a website, app or other digital effort.

“Life online is continuously evolving,” Lantagne said. “It’s important to think about how the law affects the ways you want to use the internet to grow your business. We want to make sure you make the law work for you.”

After the presentation, experts from around campus and the community will be available for individual conversations during an ask-the-expert reception.

The first Spark Series event in late February discussed questions potential business owners need to investigate before forming a limited liability company. The event was well-attended by new businesses and existing ones, and by members of the UM campus and the local community, Best said.

“Now we are going to spark a discussion on another critical point: doing business online,” Best said.

A number of issues should be considered when doing business online, such as contractual and intellectual property considerations, work-for-hire issues when designing a website or app, and security requirements for protecting a business.

“Copyright is as old as our Constitution, yet it still seems to have surprises in store for new entrepreneurs,” Olson said. “Let us show you how you can avoid some of the more unpleasant surprises so you can get on with making your new online presence a success.”

Tuesday’s discussion also includes Sadler, an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship.

Digital marketing starts and ends with the consumer, and in an era of big data, business owners can target their exact audience and reach them as they browse online, Sadler said. Some keys to doing this are researching the consumer, understanding their online behavior and providing an easy way to solve any problems they may have.

User-friendly websites and audience-tailored advertisements also help business owners when it comes to digital marketing, but making money online is still hard work.

“Many entrepreneurs believe that once the website or app is up that orders will immediately start coming in – instant success,” Sadler said. “The truth is that it rarely happens that way. It can take a new business roughly six to nine months to reach the top of Google search pages, and that’s only if you have the right website to reach your audience.

“We want to give attendees the tools they need to start strong and grow fast. From forming the business/website name to getting it online, we are aiming to equip entrepreneurs with information they can use today.”

The Spark Series – intended to inspire, discover and transform – will continue in the fall.

Sponsors of this Spark Series event include the Division of Technology Management, School of Law, Insight Park, Meek School of Journalism and New Media, Mississippi Law Research Institute, Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation, McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute.

Journalism Professor Presents Magazine Launch of the Year Award

Samir Husni announces honor for The Magnolia Journal at the American Magazine Media Conference

UM journalism professor Samir Husni presents the Magazine Launch of the Year award earlier this month at the American Magazine Media Conference in New York. Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for MPA – The Association of Magazine Media

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi journalism professor and Magazine Innovation Center director Samir Husni represented the university earlier this month at the American Magazine Media Conference in New York and presented The Magnolia Journal with the 2017 Launch of the Year Award.

Husni, known as “Mr. Magazine” for his extensive expertise of the magazine publishing industry, was the only university academic at the international conference. He was among the featured speakers of the conference, along with many other industry executives.

The publication is a lifestyle magazine launched by Meredith Magazines and Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”

“The connectivity of the content and the design made and continues to make this magazine fly off the shelves,” Husni said. “Under the leadership of editor-in-chief Joanna Gaines, this print product creates a very interactive experience for readers.

“All in all, The Magnolia Journal burst onto the scene, and in less than a year, floated to the top, deserving the Launch of the Year award – an honor well-deserved.”

Husni, along with a selection committee, chose the magazine from among 212 total publications that launched last year.

“It was a huge team effort, starting with Chip and Joanna Gaines and our execution on that,” said Doug Olson, Meredith president. “Secondly, Meredith doesn’t win many of these awards, so we’re super excited and very much appreciate the recognition.”

Though the Gaineses were not in attendance to receive the award, they displayed their gratitude in a video sent to Husni and played at the conference.

Husni will host his own annual magazine conference in April at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss. The ACT 8 Experience brings in experts from all areas of magazine publishing to speak on a variety of topics and connect with students.

Overby Center Begins Spring Program Series

First panel discussion Feb. 20 focuses on the integration of churches in Jackson

Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center, will speak on several panel discussions this spring. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics will host several discussions and lectures this spring, beginning with a discussion Tuesday (Feb. 20) about a campaign 50 years ago to integrate churches in Jackson.

The panel discussion “Integrating God’s House” will feature Carter Dalton Lyon, author of “Sanctuaries of Segregation: The Story of the Jackson Church Visit Campaign,” Ole Miss graduate Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center, and Warren Black, retired pastor of Oxford-University United Methodist Church.

Lyon explored the topic as a graduate student several years ago while working on his dissertation, which turned into a book last year. His research concentrates on civil rights activists from Tougaloo College and their mission to integrate Methodist churches in the 1960s because they believed the national denomination of the church would not approve of segregation.

Overby was in high school in Jackson during this time and witnessed attempts to integrate his church where many black people were arrested while trying to worship. Black was known as one of community’s progressive leaders during his time at the church in Oxford.

The schedule also includes other programs that reflect on the racial turmoil in the state in the 1960s, marking the 50th anniversary of many historic dates of the civil rights movement.

“It’s hard to believe it has been 50 years since the tumultuous events of 1968,” Overby said. “Our programs this spring will give us an opportunity to look at the politics of the 1960s and compare it to today.”

All Overby Center events begin at 5:30 p.m., with a reception following. The programs are free and open to the public. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the Overby Center auditorium.

Other events in the series are:

March 6 – “Bill Rose Tells All”: Mississippi journalist Bill Rose is retiring after serving as an Overby fellow and journalism instructor at Ole Miss. He will discuss critical news stories and experiences during his long career.

March 28 – “A Conversation About Race”: Gene Dattel, author of “Reckoning with Race: America’s Failure,” and Otis Sanford, former managing editor of The Commercial Appeal and instructor at the University of Memphis, will discuss the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. as the 50th anniversary of his death approaches.

April 3 – “Delta Epiphany”: Journalism instructor Ellen Meacham will discuss her new book that suggests Robert F. Kennedy’s politics were changed by his 1967 visit to the Mississippi Delta, where witnessed poverty and hunger. That visit led to his 1968 presidential campaign, during which he was assassinated. Overby fellow Curtis Wilkie, who covered Kennedy’s Delta trip for the Clarksdale Press Register, will join Meacham in the discussion.

April 10 – “Why Debates are Vital”: Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates for the past 30 years, will talk about the importance of debates in modern politics. She played a major role in bringing the 2008 presidential debate to the Ole Miss campus. Brown will be joined by Overby and Wilkie, both of whom covered many debates during their journalism careers.

April 17 – “Tales of Outrageous Injustice”: Radley Balko, investigative reporter with The Washington Post, and Tucker Carrington, director of the Mississippi Innocence Project at the UM School of Law, document how questionable testimonies by “expert witnesses” in state courts have sent innocent people to prison in their book “The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist.” They will discuss how institutional racism and inadequate forensic evidence have influenced the judicial system in Mississippi.

Alumnus Jesse Holland Jr. Pens ‘Black Panther’ Superhero Novel

Film is expected to soar at the box office for opening weekend

UM alumnus Jesse Holland Jr. has written a novel for Marvel to reintroduce its 1960s superhero ‘Black Panther,’ the main character in a new blockbuster film.

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi alumnus Jesse Holland Jr. was tapped by Marvel to reintroduce the world to the 1960s “Black Panther” superhero franchise through a new novel ahead of this weekend’s release of the blockbuster film about T’Challa, ruler of Wakanda. 

Holland, a Holly Springs native who graduated from the university in 1994 with a degree in journalism, was tasked in 2016 with retelling the story through a 90,000-word origin story novel based on material in six comics. The goal was to create a new world for the main character, T’Challa, set in modern times.

The novel was released last fall as part of efforts to promote the new $200 million movie, which stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, and features Forest Whitaker and Lupita Nyong’o. Rap megastar Kendrick Lamar produced the soundtrack. 

Being asked to write the novel, “Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther?” was a dream come true, Holland said. 

“I’ve been reading comic books my entire life,” Holland said. “When I was at Ole Miss, me and my friends would drive from campus all the way to Memphis to comic book shops on Wednesday or Thursday nights when the new ones came out and pick them up. 

“I told Marvel I’d love to take it on and they offered to send me some Black Panther comic books for research, and I said, ‘Don’t bother. I already have them all in my basement right now.”

The movie is poised for a majorly successful box office opening weekend. Drawing attention as one of the first superhero movies to feature a person of color as the main character, it follows the release of “Wonder Woman,” which featured the first female superhero star on the big screen.

Audiences are clamoring for something different from traditional Hollywood superhero movies, and there’s a much broader appeal than normal that is driving the high expectations, Holland said. 

“This is not a recycled superhero story,” he said. “It is not the third different actor playing the same character. This is something that is completely new, completely different as far as superhero movies go.

“One of the things we are going to see behind the success of this character is that we as Americans don’t need to see the same story over and over. We are accepting of new heroes and new mythologies, and in fact we’re more accepting of heroes of all colors and genders. America is ready for a different type of hero.”

In the film, T’Challa returns home to the isolated, but technologically advanced, African nation of Wakanda to succeed the throne that was recently vacated when his father, the king, died. The country is able to be technologically advanced because it’s the only source of an advanced metal known as vibranium.

When another nation attempts to invade Wakanda to take the ultrarare material, T’Challa is forced into a role as his nation’s protector. 

Jesse Holland Jr.

He is a complicated character, Holland said. 

“When people ask me about T’Challa, I tell them to imagine if the president, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the pope were all the same person,” Holland said. “On top of that, he’s a superhero.

“His superhero outfit is bound with vibranium, which makes him almost indestructible. He also takes a special herb that gives him super powers.”

“Black Panther” is drawing high marks from critics. The New York Times called it, “A jolt of a movie,” and said it “creates wonder with great flair and feeling partly through something Hollywood rarely dreams of anymore: myth. Most big studio fantasies take you out for a joy ride only to hit the same exhausted story and franchise-expanding beats. Not this one.”

Over six months, Holland wrote the updated origin story based on a 2005 version.

“It’s actually pretty cool to not have to start from scratch and to take a storyline by an absolutely great writer like Reginald Hudlin,” Holland said. “He based his work (in 2005) on the great work that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby started with.

“To be able to take that work and make it your own and be able to add and subtract and mold it to something you’re happy with is just fabulous.”

Doing this kind of work is nothing new for Holland. Disney Lucasfilm Press commissioned him to write the history of the Star Wars franchise’s newest black hero, “Finn.” He told his story in the 2016 young adult novel “Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Finn’s Story.”  

He’s also penned award-winning nonfiction. His book “The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slavery in the White House” (Lyons Press, 2016) won the 2017 silver medal in U.S. History in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. 

He teaches creative nonfiction writing as part of the Master of Fine Arts program at Goucher College in Townson, Maryland. He is also a race and ethnicity writer for The Associated Press. 

Holland recently saw a screening of the movie, which he said is “fabulous.” He expects the release will create a major payday for everyone involved.

“From everything we’re seeing – all of the sold-out movie theaters, pop-up bars, pop-up art shows and pop-up screenings, it seems like this is going to be a record-breaking weekend for Marvel, and maybe the movie industry,” Holland said. “It’s going to be amazing to see the final numbers.”

Yale Law Professor and Author Set for Tuesday Lectures

James Forman Jr. to provide a critical look at the criminal justice system

James Forman Jr. Photo courtesy Harold Shapiro

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will host James Forman Jr., author of the acclaimed new book “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” for a series of lectures and events Tuesday (Nov. 14) on campus.

Forman, a professor at the Yale Law School, will speak at the UM School of Law’s Weems Auditorium at 12:45 p.m., followed by a book signing. He speaks again at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, with a reception following. All events are free and open to the public.

Forman teaches and writes in the areas of criminal procedure and criminal law policy, constitutional law, juvenile justice, and education law and policy. He is particularly interested in schools, prisons and police.

“I’ve known James for all of my professional career as a lawyer,” said Tucker Carrington, UM assistant professor of law and director of the George C. Cochran Innocence Project. “I was fortunate to be his colleague when we were both public defenders in D.C.

“Professor Forman will downplay his talent, but he was a superb trial lawyer – whip-smart, personable, thoughtful and deeply passionate about his clients and their plight. Juries got it immediately; they loved him. He has brought those same qualities to his teaching and to the subject matter of his new book: the complex reasons behind our national problem with over-incarceration.”

For the Overby Center program, Carrington will conduct a conversation on social issues with Forman.

“We believe it will be a provocative program and a strong way to wind up our fall series,” said Curtis Wilkie, the university’s Overby fellow.

After graduating from Brown University and Yale Law School, Forman clerked for Judge William Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court. He then joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented both juveniles and adults charged with crimes.

During his time as a public defender, Forman became frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients. In 1997, he, along with David Domenici, started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested. The school has since expanded and is run inside D.C.’s juvenile prison.

“Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017) argues that law enforcement initiatives by black officials have had devastating consequences for black communities. The book has been listed on the National Book Award Longlist, among other critical praise.

For more information, contact Carrington at 662-915-5207 or carringw@olemiss.edu.

Women and Entrepreneurship Week Kicks off Monday

Campus and community agencies partner to host slate of events

OXFORD, Miss. – A new weeklong observance at the University of Mississippi focuses on women and minorities in entrepreneurial businesses, with a goal of encouraging more women to launch their own business ventures.

The inaugural Women and Entrepreneurship Week begins Monday (Nov. 13), hosted by the university’s Career Center, School of Engineering and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, housed in the School of Business Administration. The series of events is sponsored by the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation and the Mabus Agency of Tupelo.

Staff at the CIE have wanted to host an event for almost two years to demonstrate to women that entrepreneurship is a vibrant pathway to a career, said Cobie Watkins, the center’s director of student and alumni programs.

“Historically, men have possessed a greater hold on the entrepreneurial market, but that’s changing now,” Watkins said. “We want women to see they can be just as successful in this field as men.”

More women are imagining themselves as business owners and entrepreneurs – almost 42 percent in 2015, up from 36 percent in 2012 – and those numbers are continuing to grow, Watkins said.

The center’s goal is to have students think about starting their own businesses and broadening their opportunities to become more innovative, said Richard J. Gentry, associate professor of entrepreneurship and CIE strategy director.

“The job market today is much less stable than it was a generation ago,” Gentry said. “A primary mission of a college is to help students appreciate the range of employment opportunities in both small and large businesses.

“WE Week is a central part of that and we’re so happy to be partnering with our friends across campus to present it.”

The week features four events, each of which focuses on a different aspect of business. The events are designed to coach students in professional development areas that affect women students with entrepreneurial aspirations.

The first event, “Be You: Branding Your Life,” is set for noon Tuesday (Nov. 14) in the Overby Center auditorium. It includes regional experts who will advise attendees on how to best market themselves in their careers.

Up next is a small business panel, set for 2 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 15) in Holman Hall, Room 30.

“We believe entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial careers are going to continue to shape the economy of Mississippi and the region,” Watkins said. The speakers and panelists at these events will be a wonderful example for our attendees.”

Set for noon Thursday (Nov. 17), “Up, Up and Away: Following Your Passions Beyond Expectations” will feature representatives from Sierra Madre Research, a startup in Calhoun City, and Juli and Richard Rhett, a couple who scored a deal with entrepreneur Richard Branson on the television show “Shark Tank.”

The closing event, at noon Friday (Nov. 18), will feature Brittany Wagner from Netflix’s “Last Chance U,” discussing her success story. Both Thursday and Friday’s events will be in the Overby Center auditorium.

“I feel like these topics will offer good information to so many students who are interested in these areas for their careers,” said Casey Cockrell, assistant director of employer services at the UM Career Center. “There is something for everyone all week.”

A committee of six women, ages 19 and up, developed the events with the goal of getting attendees to think about the career challenges they face as women, Watkins said.

“We took those ideas and narrowed down the list to showcase subject areas and speakers that would represent a multitude of viewpoints of women in their careers and women as entrepreneurs,” she said.

“The world of work is constantly changing and trends develop,” Cockrell said. “Right now is a good time to learn about entrepreneurship as it might be the best and most rewarding career path for a student.”

UM Students Win Top Award from Southern Public Relations Federation

Lantern Award recognizes It Starts with (Me)ek campaign

A UM journalism school anti-stereotyping campaign won a top award from the Southern Public Relations Federation. Among the 31 students who served on the campaign committee under the leadership of senior lecturer Robin Street (right) are (front row, from left) IMC major Kaitlin Childress, of Brandon, and IMC graduate student Bianca Abney, of Moss Point, and (back row, from left) IMC majors Kendrick Pittman, of Kosciusko, and Zacchaeus McEwen, of McComb, and journalism graduate student Chi Kalu, of Nigeria. Photo by Stan O’Dell

OXFORD, Miss. – A campaign created by students in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi has won a top award from the Southern Public Relations Federation.

The winning campaign, It Starts with (Me)ek, was created and implemented by a team of 31 students led by senior lecturer Robin Street. It asks students to “just pause” before stereotyping others.

Judges for the competition repeatedly praised the “great job” the team did.

“Our students worked for months to plan and implement all the components of the campaign,” Street said. “They spent every Wednesday night in class and countless additional hours working on their individual tasks and assignments.

“I was so proud to see all their hard work and true dedication be recognized.”

The award, called a Lantern, was presented in the internal communications category at the Southern Public Relations Federation conference held Sept. 26 in Tupelo. Awards are presented at three levels in multiple categories, with the Lantern being the highest level of category award.

It Starts with (Me)ek was a week of speakers, programs and communications encouraging inclusion and respect while rejecting based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, mental health, religion or other factors. Ole Miss alumnus Shepard Smith spoke at two of the events.

Student committee members enrolled in an integrated marketing communications course created the campaign. They planned events, videos, communications, competitions and social media posts.

Scott Fiene, assistant dean for curriculum and assessment and assistant professor, directs the IMC program at the school and attended the awards ceremony along with Street and several of the students.

“Our student team entered in the professional category,” Fiene said. “So they were judged, not by student criteria, but by professional standards. I noticed that they were the only students to win a professional award that night.

“The award exemplifies how well all our faculty prepare our students for their careers in journalism, public relations and integrated marketing communications.”

For more information on the UM journalism school, visit https://meek.olemiss.edu/.

Journalism School Acquires Online Training Center

UM will maintain NewsLab and add new material by faculty and students

OXFORD, Miss. – The Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi soon will take over operation of the online journalism training center NewsLab.

The website will be transferred officially to the journalism school on Oct. 2.

The site was launched in 1998 with a grant from the Park Foundation. NewsLab has been maintained since 2003 by founding executive director Deborah Potter as an online training center. Thousands of journalists, educators and students have benefitted from its resources on reporting, producing, ethics, photojournalism and many other topics.

“Under Deborah Potter’s leadership, NewsLab developed a reputation for supporting quality journalism across digital platforms,” said Will Norton, UM journalism dean. “As part of our school, the site will build on that foundation and expand its mission to include a broader range of communication fields in keeping with the focus of our school.”

All NewsLab resources will remain online at a new stand-alone site, hosted by Ole Miss. New material, including research projects and creative work, will be added and maintained by the school’s faculty and students.

“I’m delighted that NewsLab has found a university home,” Potter said. “One of NewsLab’s early goals was to serve as a bridge between television newsrooms and educators to help working journalists discover and apply the lessons of academic research.”

The school’s faculty members often work at the intersection of technology and content creation, she said. Sustaining NewsLab will allow the school to share more widely the work of its faculty and students and to contribute to conversations about media, communication and technology occurring around the world.

Potter said she looks forward to potential collaborations with the school on future journalism projects.

For more information on the launch or to inquire about contributing to the new site, contact Mike Tonos at jmtonos@olemiss.edu.

Overby Center Fall Lineup Focuses on State’s History

Opening program Tuesday looks at journalists covering university's 1962 integration

Tom Oliphant, a former Boston Globe reporter, will return to campus to discuss ‘The Road to Camelot,’ a book he wrote with Overby fellow Curtis Wilkie. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics begins its 11th year at the University of Mississippi with emphasis on the state’s 200th birthday and a program about the role of journalists during the crisis surrounding the integration of the school 55 years ago.

The opening program, at 4 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 26), is built around journalism professor Kathleen Wickham’s new book, “We Believed We Were Immortal.” The presentation will include a short film about a reporter slain during the all-night riot – the only fatality suffered among journalists who covered the civil rights movement through the 1960s – as well as a conversation between three well-known figures at Ole Miss.

Wickham will be joined in the discussion by Don Cole, UM assistant provost. Douglass Sullivan-Gonzales, dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, will serve as moderator.

“The fall programs at the Overby Center will reveal fresh insights into some historic issues,” said Charles Overby, chairman of the center. “These programs once again reaffirm that William Faulkner was right about the past not being past.”

Free and open to the public, the discussion and all the remaining fall events are in the Overby Center auditorium.

The talk will be preceded by an eight-minute film about Paul Guihard, the French journalist who was shot and killed during the turmoil. The mystery surrounding his death has never been solved. The film was prepared by Mykki Newton, a former television journalist and staff member at the university’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

Tuesday’s event will be followed by five other programs during the fall semester:

– Oct. 10, 5:30 p.m. – Charles Eagles, a longtime member of the history faculty at Ole Miss, will discuss his new book, “Civil Rights Culture Wars,” with K.B. Melear, professor of higher education. Eagles’ book deals with a controversy that spanned much of the 1970s over efforts to introduce a new textbook that fully chronicles Mississippi’s troubled racial history into public high schools in the state. Earlier textbooks sugarcoated slavery and glorified the Confederacy.

– Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m. – John F. Kennedy’s audacious plan to win Southern support in 1960 by courting prominent segregationists in the region, while at the same time trying to enlist civil rights activists in Northern states, will be the subject of a conversation with Tom Oliphant and Overby fellow Curtis Wilkie, who worked together as journalists for the Boston Globe for more than a quarter-century and are co-authors of a new book, “The Road to Camelot.” Charles Overby will act as moderator.

– Oct. 24, 5:30 p.m. – Six weeks before the dedication the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the directors of both museums, Rachel Myers and Pamela Junior, will talk about how they chose the topics and artifacts to be featured in the facilities at a time when Mississippi’s history continues to be debated.

– Nov. 7, 2:30 p.m. – A group of Ole Miss students, along with Overby fellow Bill Rose and Ji Hoon Heo of the journalism faculty who accompanied them, will discuss their summer trip to Sri Lanka and their work to produce a magazine and video presentations about the exotic land where an ancient culture has survived a brutal civil war and a disastrous tsunami in recent years.

– Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m. – James Forman Jr., a Yale Law School professor, author of the critically-acclaimed “Locking Up Our Own” and son of a prominent civil rights leader, will discuss his belief that some approaches adopted by prosecutors and African-Americans to control crime actually have had a devastating impact in poor black communities. He will be joined in the conversation by Tucker Carrington, director of the Innocence Project at the UM School of Law.

For more information about the Overby Center, visit http://overbycenter.org/.