Database of African American Monuments in Mississippi
In 2015, the Office of Community Engagement at JSU spearheaded research and preservation work in Mt. Olive Cemetery because the community requested the site be restored. Since then, we have been working to determine where all the African American monuments, statues, and sites are in the state of Mississippi. The primary reason for this interest is because of the early erection date of James “Jim” Hill statue at his burial site in 1904. Research indicates this was one of the first, if not the first, African American statues built in our state. However, there was not a database that listed all the African American statues in our state.
The Office of Community Engagement contracted with esteemed researcher, Jan Hillegas to create a database of the African American monuments in our state. Below is a database that details the African American monuments, statues, and memorials for African Americans in our state. According to our records, the first African American monument was of James D. Lynch in 1872 at his burial site in Greenwood Cemetery. Our records also indicated, Jim Hill’s statue in Mt. Olive Cemetery is the first African American statue built in the state of Mississippi.
Our office is continuing its research efforts by creating a google spreadsheet to collect additional names for the database. If you know of a site that could include a statue, mural, building, park etc. that is named to honor an African American, please fill out the form at this link https://forms.gle/SHBSjVPhPJoadLxy9
The Southern Poverty Law Center has done extensive research to document and map confederate monuments across the nation. https://www.splcenter.org/20190201/whose-heritage-public-symbols-confederacy
We hope our efforts will lead to similar outcomes.
Lastly, the Mellon Foundation is also working on documenting monuments across the nation. https://mellon.org/initiatives/monuments/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwuLShBhC_ARIsAFod4fIXrx6nJjgJvM6UdjV_9AcFxiwSCSVNPjz6RuItx-sTjN37JedD0gEaApmiEALw_wcB
For more information about JSU’s research project, please call Heather Denne’ at 601-979-5828 or email at email@example.com.
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