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Pamela Nicole Walker, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University, has been named the 2019 Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Scholar. Walker’s research covers a Civil Rights-era letter-writing project that connected black Mississippians with supportive white northern families.

While at the Mississippi state archives, Walker will use the papers of Medgar Evers from his work in Bolivar County and other parts of the Mississippi Delta, and the correspondence of Myrlie Evers, to provide historical context for the creation of the Mississippi Box Project.

“A family-to-family postal benevolence initiative, the Mississippi Box Project was designed to alleviate poverty, provide racially isolated northern white women the opportunity to assist in the southern movement, and forge trans-regional friendship between black and white mothers,” said Walker. “By examining letter correspondence between rural black women and white women, I will demonstrate the ways in which everyday women imagined themselves as participants in the Civil Rights Movement.”

Walker graduated with a BA in history and journalism from the University of Tennessee. She holds a MA in history from the University of New Orleans, and she is currently at work on a PhD in the Department of History at Rutgers University. Her working dissertation, “‘Everyone Must Think We Really Need Freedom’: Black and White Mothers, The Mississippi Box Project, and the Civil Rights Movement,” examines the relationship between rural motherhood, activism, poverty, and political consciousness in social movements during the 1960s.

Walker will use the $4,000 award to cover travel, housing, and other expenses while doing primary research at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) during the month of July. She plans to explore the Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers, 1900–1994; the Mississippi Council on Human Relations records, 1960–1980; and the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project collection, 1962–1964.

“We’re delighted to partner with the Evers Institute and the Kellogg Foundation on this scholarship,” said David Pilcher, director of the MDAH Archives and Record Services Division. “Our goal is to facilitate new and exciting research using the tremendous resources here at the state archives.”

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Scholars Program, a collaboration between MDAH and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, encourages work in the history of civil and human rights using the state archives’ holdings to publish original research.

The Evers Papers may be accessed at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson. For more information on the Evers Scholar program or about the Evers Papers, contact Laura Heller at 601-576-6850 or by email at lheller@mdah.ms.gov.

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