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At noon on Wednesday, May 31, as part of the department's History Is Lunch series, Darrell White and Christopher Windfield will screen the documentary The 30th of May, about a joint Memorial Day celebration connecting Mississippi and Louisiana that dates to 1889.

The film tells the story of African Americans and citizens in Natchez, Mississippi, and Vidalia, Louisiana, who have been marching to the Natchez National Cemetery to celebrate black military service since 1889. The celebration is one of the longest-running Memorial Day commemorations in the country.

“Virtually unknown outside of the region, this annual event is passed down from generation to generation,” said White, who serves as director of the Office of Cultural Heritage Tourism for Natchez. “It gives evidence that the roots of patriotism run deep in the two towns.”

Utilizing interviews with veterans, organizers, and participants, archival and aerial footage, and animation, The 30th of May brings to life the untold story of this African American-led tradition in the Deep South.

The 30th of May was named the best short documentary at the 2016 International Independent Film Festival and has been screened at the San Diego Black Film Festival and the Black International Film Festival in Birmingham, England.

Darrell S. White is director of the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture, which chronicles the history and culture of African Americans in the southern United States. He appears in The 30th of May.

Christopher Windfield served as co-producer and Director of Cinematography for The 30th of May. He is the CEO of Drawn Up Films Productions. He holds a BA in graphic design from Jackson State University and an MA from the Academy of Art University.

The program will take place in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, 200 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201. There is no charge to attend. For more information call 601-576-6998 or email


June 7—Debbie Z. Harwell will discuss her book Wednesdays in Mississippi: Proper Ladies Working for Radical Change, Freedom Summer 1964. WFW

June 14—USM history professor Susannah Ural will present “The Beauvoir Veteran Project: A Case Study of Mississippi’s Confederate Home.” WFW

June 21—Jeffery B. Howell will discuss his book Hazel Brannon Smith: The Female Crusading Scalawag. Sales and signing to follow. OCM

June 28—Editor Lorie Watkins and contributors Ted Atkinson and Tom Richardson will discuss their new book The Literary History of Mississippi. Sales and signing to follow. OCM

History Is Lunch programs take place in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (WFW), 200 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201, or the Old Capitol Museum (OCM), 100 South State Street, Jackson, MS 39201.

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