Speaking of Mississippi features interviews with authors and experts about the state’s landmark moments and overlooked stories. Topics explored include the work of Vicksburg artist Andrew Bucci, the music of bluesman Bobby Rush, the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic, the Civil War siege of Jackson, the desegregation of the capital city’s public swimming pools, and more.
The podcast is made possible by support from the John and Lucy Shackelford Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi.
In this episode we speak with Berkley Hudson about the photographer O.N. Pruitt, who served as the de facto documentarian of Columbus, Mississippi, during the early twentieth century. But the significance of Pruitt’s work was overlooked, and the photos were in danger of being lost forever.
In this episode we speak with Beth Batton and Margaret Bucci about the artist Andrew Bucci. The Vicksburg native transcended the bounds of his small native state, and his art is being celebrated across Mississippi in 2022, the centennial of his birth.
In this episode we speak with Joshua D. Rothman, author of The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America. The book focuses on the firm of Isaac Franklin, John Armfield, and Rice Ballard, whose slave-trading operation was the largest and most powerful in U.S. history—and which had a principal office in Natchez.
In this episode we talk with the King of the Chitlin’ Circuit, Bobby Rush. The Grammy award-winning musician has recorded more than 400 songs over the course of five decades in the music industry. His new memoir is I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story.
In this episode we talk with Jennifer V.O. Baughn about her new book on Mississippi in the prestigious Buildings of the United States series. Baughn is chief architectural historian for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the author of numerous articles on the state's historic buildings.
In this episode we talk with Nancy Bristow, author of Steeped in the Blood of Racism: Black Power, Law and Order, and the 1970 Shootings at Jackson State College, which won the Mississippi Historical Society’s prize for best book of 2020. Bristow is distinguished professor of history at the University of Puget Sound.
In this episode we talk with Jeff Giambrone about the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for Union veterans that was conceived of in Mississippi. Giambrone is a reference librarian and the author of four books, including a regimental history of the 38th Mississippi Infantry and an illustrated guide to the Vicksburg Campaign and National Military Park.
In this episode we talk with Wilma Mosley Clopton about the people, places, and events that have been the focus of her short documentary films—things like an early southern bus boycott, Black Civil War soldiers, and a 13-year-old Freedom Rider. Clopton’s body of work to date includes twelve films, four books, and one play.
In this episode we talk with Harvard Law School professor Randall Kennedy about the legal case that resulted when the segregated public swimming pools in Mississippi’s capital city were shut down rather than integrated. Kennedy clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and was awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law.