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 the author Daniel de Vise about the life of beloved bluesman BB King. Although King is celebrated around the globe for his music, de Vise argues in his new biography that the guitar player's significance in shaping not just the blues, but nearly all contemporary popular music may still be underrated.
In this episode we feature a conversation between the celebrated author, Princeton University professor, and Mississippi native Eddie Glaude Jr. and Pamela D.C. Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums.
In this episode we speak with the author Deborah Douglas about her new guidebook on the people, places, and events that made the Civil Rights Movement.
In this episode we speak with Leroy Johnson and Calvin Head about the Black farming cooperative of Mileston, which began eighty years ago as an experimental federal program that aimed to lift Delta sharecroppers out of poverty, but went on to become one of the safe havens of the Civil Rights Movement.
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.