Tag: Ole Miss

University of Mississippi to Post Signs Recognizing Campus Buildings Built By Slave Labor, Renaming Others

University of Mississippi (photo via huffingtonpost.com)

by Zeba Blay via huffingtonpost.com

The University of Mississippi is taking major strides in acknowledging its racist history. The institution, affectionately known as Ole Miss, announced plans on Thursday to recognize pre-Civil War campus buildings that were built by slaves.

According to NBC, in addition to placing plaques on buildings built by slaves, the university will also remove the name of white supremacist James K. Vardaman from a campus building. Vardaman was the governor of Mississippi from 1904 to 1908. “As an educational institution, it is imperative we foster a learning environment and fulfill our mission by pursuing knowledge and understanding,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said in a news release.

Ole Miss famously became embroiled in racial tension and violence in 1962, when James Meredith became the first black student to attend the institution as the result of court-ordered integration. The move is part of an ongoing process on the campus to reconcile with its past, provide historical context, and create a more welcoming environment for a diverse student body.

To read and see more, go to: Ole Miss To Post Signs Recognizing Campus Buildings Built By Slave Labor | HuffPost

Ole Miss Removes Mississippi Flag with Confederate Emblem from Campus

Initiative #55 supporters march towards the Mississippi State Capitol Sunday October 11, 2015 in Jackson, Miss. Initiative 55 is the Flag for All Mississippians Act which proposes removing the Confederate Battle flag from the Mississippi State flag. (photo via
Marchers supporting initiative to remove the Confederate Battle flag from the Mississippi State flag. (photo via blackbottomarchives.com)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The University of Mississippi has removed the state flag on its Oxford campus Monday morning because the banner contains the Confederate battle emblem, which some see as a painful reminder of slavery and segregation.

Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks ordered the flag lowered and said it was being sent to the university’s archives.

The action came days after the student senate, the faculty senate and other groups adopted a student-led resolution calling for removal of the banner from campus.

“As Mississippi’s flagship university, we have a deep love and respect for our state,” Stocks said in a statement Monday. “Because the flag remains Mississippi’s official banner, this was a hard decision. I understand the flag represents tradition and honor to some. But to others, the flag means that some members of the Ole Miss family are not welcomed or valued.”

Since 1894, the Mississippi flag has had the Confederate battle emblem in the upper left corner — a blue X with 13 white stars, over a field of red. Residents chose to keep the flag during a 2001 statewide vote.

However, the public display of Confederate symbols has been subject to heated debates since the June massacre of nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Police said the attack was racially motivated. The white man charged in the slayings had posed with a Confederate battle flag in photos posted online before the massacre.

More than 200 people took part in a remove-the-flag rally Oct. 16 on the Oxford campus. It was sponsored by the university chapter of the NAACP.

The University of Mississippi has struggled with Old South symbolism for decades. In 1962, deadly riots broke out when James Meredith was enrolled as the first black student, under court order. Ole Miss administrators have tried to distance the school from Confederate symbols. Sports teams are still called the Rebels, but the university several years ago retired the Colonel Rebel mascot — a white-haired old man some thought resembled a plantation owner. The university also banned sticks in the football stadium nearly 20 years ago, which eliminated most Confederate battle flags that fans carried.

“The University of Mississippi community came to the realization years ago that the Confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values, such as civility and respect for others,” Stocks said in the statement Monday. “Since that time, we have become a stronger and better university. We join other leaders in our state who are calling for a change in the state flag.”

Several Mississippi cities and counties have stopped flying the state flag since the Charleston shootings. The state’s three historically black universities had stopped flying the flag earlier, and the state’s only black U.S. representative, Democrat Bennie Thompson, does not display the state flag in his offices because of the Confederate symbol.

article by Emily Wagster Pettus via blackamericaweb.com

First African American Crowned Homecoming Queen at Ole Miss

Courtney Roxanne Pearson, 21, is the first African American Homecoming Queen at the University of Mississippi crowned during halftime, Satuday, October 13, 2012.

Courtney Roxanne Pearson is the first African American Homecoming Queen at the University of Mississippi affectionately known as Ole Miss.  Pearson, 21, is a senior English education student from Memphis, Tennessee, that won the royal post by a vote of 1,477 to 1,387, according to the Daily Mail: Continue reading “First African American Crowned Homecoming Queen at Ole Miss”