CAPE Opening, ‘Picturing Mississippi’

On Thursday, Nov. 30, the Mississippi Museum of Art announced the opening of its community-centered initiative, the Center for Art and Public Exchange. The initiative will use art, exhibitions, programs and artist engagements to “increase understanding and inspire new narratives in contemporary Mississippi,” a press release says. “We at the Mississippi Museum of Art believe that when great, profound art and human beings come together, when they intersect, there’s something magical about that place,” MMA Director Betsy Bradley said in the release. “We think that personal transformation can happen in that circumstance. Continue Reading

Jesmyn Ward Wins National Book Award

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Jesmyn Ward received a National Book Award for “Sing, Unburied, Sing.” The book centers around 13-year-old Jojo, whose mother, Leonie, takes he and his toddler sister Kayla on a trip to Parchman to pick up their white father. Ward is now a two-time winner of the National Book Award, as she won one in 2011 for her novel, “Salvage the Bones.” Click here to read a New York Times story about her award. Continue Reading

Jackson Schools ‘Better Together’ Commission Meets This Afternoon

The “Better Together” Commission, a coalition of school, city, nonprofit and business leaders, will meet tonight at 4:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Gardens Community Center located at 4125 Sunset Drive, Jackson, MS.

The Commission is tasked with two roles in helping the Jackson Public School District. First, the group must issue a request-for-proposal soon to hire a company to conduct a gap analysis of the district. Secondly, the commission must collect a large amount of community input through listening sessions, surveys and other engagement strategies. Gov. Phil Bryant opted to form the commission instead of allowing the Mississippi Department of Education to take over the district this fall. Continue Reading

DOJ to Jackson: Review ‘Sanctuary’ Policy

The U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t know the city of Jackson has a new mayor. In a letter addressed to Mayor Tony Yarber but dated Nov. 15, 2017, Alan Hanson, acting assistant attorney general, asked the city of Jackson to review its “sanctuary city” ordinance. Jackson has an ordinance that prohibits police officers in the city from asking about a person’s immigration status unless it is “relevant to the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense, or when processing an arrested person.” The ordinance, often referred to as a “sanctuary policy,” has been on the books since in 2010. Continue Reading

The Mississippi Mile

In honor of the state’s bicentennial and the opening on the civil-rights and history museums in December, organizations and businesses such as Creative Mississippi, Team JXN and Blue Magnolia films have partnered together to create the Mississippi Mile in downtown Jackson. The Mile will feature a bicentennial photo gallery, which will be one of the largest pop-up, open-air galleries in the U.S., and more.  Mississippi Mile is Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Capitol Street in downtown Jackson. The event is free and open to the public. Those who want to be a vendor should register here by Monday, Nov. Continue Reading

Hinds County Attorney Election Heads to Runoff

Malcolm Harrison and Gerald Mumford will head to a runoff for the Hinds County attorney election, after neither candidate managed to win 50 percent of the vote plus one. The election had three candidates, and interim Hinds County Attorney Martin Perkins pulled 7 percent of the vote. Harrison won 47 percent of the vote, while Mumford won 45 percent of total votes cast in the election. Only 9,960 Hinds County voters cast ballots on Tuesday, unofficial election results show. Harrison and Mumford will face off in two weeks for a runoff election. Continue Reading

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

For the Making Strides of Hinds-Jackson breast-cancer-awareness march on Saturday, Oct. 28, Allstate agency owners and financial specialists from Jackson will come together for the event to secure a grant through Allstate Foundation Helping Hands to The American Cancer Society. Here is a press release verbatim about the event and the grant:

Allstate agency owners and financial specialists from the Jackson area will come together to secure an Allstate Foundation Helping Hands grant to benefit The American Cancer Society at a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The grant will support the nonprofit organization’s mission to celebrate survivors and raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research, support services and early detection. The agency owners and/or financial specialists will each earn $1,000 for the American Cancer Society by walking during the event, which begins at 9 a.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. Continue Reading

Pearl Youth Court Shutters After Judge Allegedly Kept Mother from Child Due to Unpaid Fees

On Wednesday, the Pearl Municipal Youth Court closed permanently, and Youth Court Judge John Shirley resigned as youth court judge after Cliff Johnson, with the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, told Pearl officials about Shirley’s order blocking a mother from seeing her child until she paid court-ordered fees, a press release from the Center says. Judge Shirley entered an order on Aug. 22, 2016, prohibiting Johnson’s client, referred to as “Mother A” due to strict youth court confidentiality laws, from having any contact with her baby until she paid court fees in full, the press release says. Fourteen months later, Judge Shirley entered an order on Oct. 25 reversing his earlier decision and returning custody to “Mother A.” The mother was not represented by a lawyer in the Youth Court proceedings. Continue Reading

Honey Bunches of (Joyce Carol) Oates

In cased you missed it, author Joyce Carol Oates retweeted a photo of a banner at Mississippi State University that featured Mississippi author William Faulkner and said, “So funny! If Mississippians read, Faulkner would be banned.” https://twitter.com/JoyceCarolOates/status/920638826971877379

If you’ve lived here long enough or know anything about southern literary history, you know that Mississippians read, and some of us even write! Of course, her tweet created a firestorm on Twitter with more than 1,200 replies. Here are some of the highlights. Continue Reading