By A Student Podcast from MSMS
Real MississippiMar 15, 2022
Tainted Taps: Looking at a Mississippi Delta Town's Water Quality Issues
The residents of Cleveland, Mississippi face a threat most of them don't even know about: bacterial contamination and excessive sodium in their tap water. Cleveland’s water quality has become compromised due to the city’s defective water filtration system. As a result, bacteria and sodium spread throughout the city. This has can cause many short and long-term illnesses across the population, particularly for those who need to avoid sodium. Written by Junron Zhou and produced by Savannah Bryant.
No Debate About It: Young Women Thrive at Debate
High school debate is a fantastic way for a student to make new friends, develop better communication skills, and acquire important soft skills, but there is a darker side to this activity: mansplaining. Follow Annadele Beckman as she delves into the world of high school debate and interviews her former debate coach about the scope of sexism in debate, as well as steps that can be taken to mitigate it.
Hattiesburg's Sewer Woes
What's that smell? In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, it may be an overflowing sewer. Updating our aging sewers is a multi-million dollar problem--and Hattiesburg isn't the only place facing it. Written and narrated by Elena Perry; produced by Chloe Wesley.
The Benefits of Religion: a Southern Baptist View
It is common to explore practices that benefit the mind and body, yet rarely is it common for one to explore how religious practices may do the same. In this episode, writer and producer Angel Viveros and guest speaker Dr. Timothy Trillet Ed.D explore the benefits of religion from a Southern Baptist perspective.
A lost voice from the Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance, an upheaval in art and music in African American culture, saw the rise of many of today’s household names—Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, and Duke Ellington, for instance. William Grant Still, though, does not hold the same revered place in our national consciousness. A pioneer of the classical world, Still molded the genres of classical and jazz into today’s shapes. While his name is forgotten, his influence is unmistakable in the music of the present.
Contamination in Columbus
Danger is closer to home than many of us know. In the late 1980s many neighborhoods in Columbus, Mississippi experienced danger first hand. Kerr McGee, a company that manufactured chemically treated railroad ties and telephone poles in Columbus, Mississippi, contributed contamination in the form of creosote in the soil at and around the plant. This contamination left negative impacts, such as cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, on the lives of people that worked at the plant as well as the people that lived around it. Written and recorded by Ash Taylor and produced by Cheniya Nicholson.
A Model of Small-Town Flourishing
In this podcast, the reasons for Starkville, Mississippi’s economic growth is examined. It focuses on city council’s Mayor Lynn Spruill and the Board of Aldermen and their proactive policies over the past decade. Finally, it examines Starkville’s connection to Mississippi State University and how the Board has capitalized on the college’s successes.
Eudora Welty's Legacy
Take a deep dive into the history and legacy of American short story novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Eudora Welty! Learn about Eudora Welty’s young start to writing and her life’s journey as a young female writer in Mississippi! Written and produced by Ally Mack.
Dr. Theodoric James
In this Podcast, Alexander Allison explores the life and legacy of Dr. Theodoric James, the first Black physician from Columbus, Mississippi.
The State Line Mob
Alcorn county, the seemingly peaceful, perfect place to raise a family, has a bloody history that few seem to know. In the time of prohibition and dry states, Mississippi wanted to stay clean of alcohol, which prompted some to begin smuggling the outlawed beverage through the state line of Tennessee and Mississippi. This birthed the State Line Mob, a group of southerners determined to indulge in a beer. Run by a woman that struck fear into men's hearts and backed by the few brave enough to fight with her, Alcorn county became a terror zone filled with violence, robbery, and even murder. This podcast tells their story.
Mississippi is a state known for having many issues, but among the many concerns in Mississippi one, in particular, is becoming increasingly prevalent: stray animals. In this podcast, we will explore how and why this issue has become so extensive and the ways the average citizen can help. Written by Vincent Wang and produced by Mehar Gill.
Leaders and Tough Questions
When Becky Watkins, a new school board member in Quitman, Mississippi, heard that the district superintendent had been charged with embezzlement at her previous job, she asked questions that nobody wanted to hear. Written by Ava Dedwylder and produced by Myia Williams.
Shalaan Hendricks: Making Lifelong Learners in Columbus, Mississippi
Shalaan Hendricks is a talented and passionate kindergarten teacher at Joe Cook Elementary in Columbus, Mississippi. She has been an integral part of her schools, and her dedication to her students’ education is evident in everything she does. Shalaan is also an active participant in the school’s community. She collaborates with other teachers and staff to create a positive learning environment for all her students. Her enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment to excellence make her a valuable asset to the Joe Cook Elementary School community. Written by Kinsley Hendricks and produced by A'Meya Stewart.
An Amazing Education
Amazing programs and flourishing businesses probably do not come to the forefront of people’s minds when thinking of Mississippi. However, Petal, Mississippi manages to overcome stereotypes with great teachers and a top-ranked school district. Mrs. Robin Rector is one of the teachers and mentors out of many that make Petal so special. Written by Gracyn Young and produced by Komal Patel.
Evangelism or Intimidation? Starkville's Cross of Christ
Another cross has been erected along Highway 25 near Starkville, Mississippi. Its presence sparked an argument among the people of Starkville: does it represent good-natured evangelism or an effort to intimidate people of different religious backgrounds. Starkville is one of Mississippi's most diverse communities. The Cross of Christ may be an important symbol for Christians, but it may not be perceived in the same way by people of different faiths. How might it affect Starkvillagers' impressions of the place they call home? Written and produced by Vivian Peng.
Where Do You Go When Your Blue Collar Town Loses Businesses?
In the not too distant past, blue collar jobs abounded in Columbus, Mississippi. A person could graduate from high school, start working as, say, a machinist, and retire comfortably a quarter century later. NAFTA effectively did away with that kind of opportunity at the turn of the century. Manufacturing jobs have returned for skilled laborers since then. But will those be enough to keep people here?
Jill Moore: Raising the Literary Generation
In the literary world of Oxford, Mississippi, hidden gems can be discovered on every corner. Jill Moore, who runs Square Books, Jr., is one of them. She knows what it means to think--and to read--like a child, and that makes all the difference. Written and recorded by Ava Grace Noe and produced by Levi Stevens.
A Tiny Museum with a Huge Impact
Covid-19 caused thousands of businesses across the nation to close down and ruined the economy. But members of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission found a way to combat these issues. Vicki Taylor, the wife of the Commission’s executive director, turned the alleyway behind the Saenger Theater into The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum. Since then, the museum has had over 100,000 visitors and contributed over $17 million to Hattiesburg’s economy. Written by Asher Rials and produced by Justin Doan.
Anne Moody: Giving a Voice to an Unforgettable Image
When Anne Moody and other activists sat down at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi, they were taunted and abused by white supremacists and the police. Fred Blackwell, a photographer for the Jackson Daily News, captured the intensity--and the horror--of the moment in a photograph that helped to galvanize support for Civil Rights. Because Anne Moody's face was in the image, she could not go to her home in south Mississippi again. Her name and accomplishments have almost been forgotten there as a result. Written by Keyonna Griffin and produced by Ben Billa.
How the Jackson Water Crisis Affects Education
Media coverage of the Jackson, Mississippi water crisis has focused on the blame game. Whose fault was it? Where did all the money for infrastructure go? Who should be in charge of making sure it doesn't happen again? As usual, when "adults" argue during moments like these, children suffer the most. Whether there isn't water at home or at school, Jackson's students are being hurt.
Robert St. John: Finding a Good Recipe for Second Chances
When Robert St. John was a young man, he didn't think he'd live to be 25. He knew he had a substance abuse issue, but didn't know how or where to get help until he got arrested and ended up in rehab. Now, as one of Mississippi's most successful restauranteurs, he hires members of the recovery community. It's not mere charity. It's good business. Written by Jaqueline Smith and produced by Max Flaschka.
Making Mississippi a Friendlier Place
Queer culture been demonized in Mississippi since the 1830s. In recent years, the state has slowly improved its environment for those in the LGBTQ+ community. Some denominations have been especially progressive in making the state friendlier to members of the community. Unfortunately, anti-trans bills have outweighed the inclusive laws. Written and recorded by Victoria West.
But Not for Everyone
Biloxi Beach was constructed in the middle of the 20th Century to prevent erosion and for the recreational use of everyone in the city--everyone who was white. The city neglected to see African Americans as equals and restricted their access to the "public" beach. This podcast, written and produced by Julia Nguyen, retells the story of Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr., the lead organizer of the Bloody Sunday wade-ins and a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi.
Mother Goose: A Timeless Tradition of Learning and Laughter
Mrs. Edwina William’s passion for reading to children is rooted in the belief that reading is not just a means of acquiring knowledge, but also a way to stimulate the imagination and foster creativity. Mrs. William’s alter ego, Mother Goose, loved by children all over Mississippi's Golden Triangle, hopes to instill a love for reading and self-confidence in children. Written by Bethany Setiawan and produced by Tony Bradley.
Let's Bring Education into the 21st Century
Lots of smart people don't like going to school. At its worst, it seems to exist to make students feel bad about what they don't know. It also emphasizes knowledge and skills that were important two generations ago--not today. Written by Adalberto Estrella and produced by Kermit Oville.
What Makes a Suburb a Good Place to Live?
Southaven, the third largest city in Mississippi, is known for being a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. In recent years, Southaven’s economic development has dramatically increased its population as well as its diversity. Ironically, Southaven now faces a surprising issue: white flight. This time, white people are moving from Southaven to whiter suburbs including Hernando and Olive Branch, forcing the city to grapple with a delicate issue of perception: Do its residents see it as a continually appealing place to live? Written by Iris Xue and produced by Marqueveon Quinn.
Oxford's History: Etched in Stone
The home of the University of Mississippi and William Faulkner, Oxford, Mississippi is a southern town filled to the brim with history. You can find that history etched in stone. With Confederate monuments, memorials and sculptures; looking closer and then taking a step back, the statues of Oxford, Mississippi paint the bigger picture. Written by Ava Wilson and produced by Colt Sorey.
What has become of Mississippi's capital and metro area, and the state as a whole? Is it worthy of being called the "Hospitability State" or is the motto just a tired piece of marketing? Dylan Wiley speaks with a friend and fellow swimmer about the disparities they see in schools and in neighborhoods in the Jackson metro area. Produced by Dorothy Virges.
Cleveland Consolidation Revisited
The Mississippi Delta is not renowned for its education system. A recent school consolidation in Cleveland, Mississippi offers an opportunity to study the dynamic relationships between race, class, public education, and perception. Written and produced by Rushyendranath Reddy Nalamalapu.
All the World's a Stage
Theater is an extracurricular many students take for granted. That used to be the case in Northwest Mississippi. Former high school director Ms. Judy Defrehn paved the road of opportunity for this theatrical community to its current destination: a massive success. Written by Noah Curtis Lee and produced by Andrew Grieve.
Healing is a Process
Luke Woodham killed his mother and two students at Pearl High School a quarter century ago. How did the school and the city recover? They started by coming together and supporting one another. Looking at the last 25 years closely, we can see that healing is a process. Written by Sabrina Sims.
Clara Reed: Belzoni's Biggest Fish
Dr. Clara Reed is an African American woman from Belzoni, Mississippi who has given so much back to her town. She is a trailblazer who has created available and affordable healthcare for her hometown. Founding Mid-Delta Home and Hospice in 1978. Reed’s strong will and faith led to the success of her business. Written by Kelvin Pool and produced by Atticus Ross.
Starkville's Mayor and Trailblazer
The mayor of Starkville, Mississippi, Lynn Spruill, was the first woman to land on a U.S. navy aircraft carrier. While this alone is enough to make her a hero, she went on to pursue a career in business and politics that greatly benefitted Starkville. Written by Maddie Brain and produced by Nick Nagle.
Breaking Silence for Justice
Florence Mars was a white activist in Philadelphia, Mississippi. She testified in the FBI investigation of the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner--the Philadelphia Three--who were attempting to register African-Americans to vote. Klansmen and local police officers murdered all three and his their bodies in an earthen dam. The whole town wanted to cover the crime up. Except Florence Mars. When the residents discovered her involvement with the investigation, they burned down her barn, poisoned her livestock, and boycotted her farm. Written by Laykin Dixon and produced by Kinsley Collum, with Bridget Pieschel voicing the words of Florence Mars.
Chief Phillip Martin: A Ground-breaking Leader for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Chief Phillip Martin was the elected leader of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians from 1979 to 2007. His military service led him to decide that if Europe could be rebuilt after WWII, then Mississippi's Choctaws could have better schools and lives, too. Members of the tribe still feel the effects of his work today--fifteen years after his death. Written by Iysiahs York and produced by Emma Potts.
John Grisham: Author and Advocate
It’s not impossible to overcome generational curses set out by Mississippi’s old standards. John Grisham, world-renowned legal thriller author, proves just that. Stereotypes can be broken, and voices will be heard. He continues to do what’s right and fights for justice despite the way he was raised. Written and produced by Lisa Seid. Interviews and quotes credited to Today, France 24, Cato Institute, and Centurion.
Starkville's Almost Invisible Problem
The fast-growing town of Starkville, Mississippi, invites people to the vibrant culture of Mississippi State University football games, art galleries, music and more. However, a dark shadow lurks in the interstices of these bright celebrations. Like many other college towns, Starkville has a population of homeless people whose needs often go unaddressed. We dove into this issue, learning that the problem is much deeper than we initially thought. Written by Max Feng and produced by Ethan Liao.
Speaking Up and Showing Out
There is a problem with the representation of black youth. Our most common forms of media reduce black adolescents to one-dimensional characters made solely for entertainment. This type of representation affects how young black people think of themselves, which is why Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, is flipping the script. Thomas, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, understands the experience of a black teen in a white world. She has made it her purpose to show the world things from the perspectives of black youths, and most importantly, prove to them they can surpass any obstacles thrown at them. Written by Ivie Kirkland and produced by Rusleen Bhalla.
Sweet Home Chicago
Some people find the quiet, slow pace of Carrollton, Mississippi to their liking. However, when Jeremiah McClain moved there from a Chicago suburb, he found himself longing for the comforts of noisy trains, loud music, and busy streets--especially after he realized that his high school was named after one of the architects of legalized segregation, J.Z. George.
Fanny Lou Hamer: A Hero We'll Never Get Sick and Tired of Learning About
Fanny Lou Hamer's formal education might have ended in grade school, but she knew how to make a point. Her speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention helped change the course of American history through its logic and insight. Written by Arika Gardner and produced by Gabe Skinner.
Robert Boyd Patterson: A Civil Rights Era Villain
The magnitude and heroism shown by civil rights activists in the 1960s gets even clearer when you look at the villains. Their actions show how deeply embedded racism was within the institutions of MIssissippi, as an examination of Robert Boyd Patterson's life will show. Written by Ann Grace Donahue and produced by Gabe Skinner.
The King of American Music
Elvis Presley was only a boy from a small town in Mississippi. He had lived a hard life during a harsh time. He came out of it as a rock-star pioneer for American music, which has created more fans and influence than any other solo artist. Even years after his passing, he remains popular. Written by Krish Patel and produced by Sophia Williams.
Cordell Jackson: Rocking into the Twenty-first Century
It didn't start with Taylor Swift or Ke$ha: women have been fighting for recognition as artists in the music industry for years. Amazing ladies like Cordell Jackson, the first woman to open her own record label and publish her own rockabilly music, show just how far women have come in entertainment. Yet her experiences, along with the experiences that female artists face today, reveal how much work is still left to do in the entertainment industry. Written by Jenna Riggle and produced by Andrew Liu.
Making Cleveland a Better Place
Cleveland, Mississippi, has gone through a change of a lifetime: just five years ago, its school district finally desegregated. By all accounts, this made the town a better place. Take a look into the heart and soul of the delta, as we dive into the repurcussions of the most controversial event in this town’s history. Written by Dyllon Martin and produced by Gordon Welch.
Gulfport's Founder: Joseph Thomas Jones
History is filled with extraordinary people who accomplished mind boggling heroic feats. These legends often serve as our inspiration and our teachers. This podcast seeks to examine an incredible individual who influenced Mississippi history for the better. Without him the state, and everyone who lives in it would not be able to enjoy the freedoms and luxuries that we do today. From the harbor of the Gulf coast to the ragging battlefields of the American Civil War, let's learn about Joseph Thomas Jones. Written and produced by Daniel Caton.
Charles Caldwell: Mississippi's Forgotten Reconstruction Hero
The life of reconstruction hero Charles Caldwell was cut short by an assassin's bullet during the 1875 election. Hear the story of his fight for racial equality--and a place in Mississippi history.
Margaret Walker Alexander: Cultural Activist
"Cultural Activist" tells the story of poet, writer, and archivist Margaret Walker Alexander who founded the first institute for African American studies in Jackson, Mississippi. It includes excerpts from her journals and follows her journey through life, displaying her struggles and triumphs. Written by Chauncy Jordan and produced by Willem Arnoldus.
Richard E. Holmes: Ushering Mississippi Into A New Era
You’ve already heard stories of the groundbreaking achievements of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Malcom X in the fight for African American civil rights. But have you heard Richard E. Holmes’ small-town story with much bigger implications? Delve deeper into the adversity he faced and challenges he overcame as he became the first African American to integrate Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. Written by Nicholas Popescu and produced by Jeremy Dawe and Elliot Mathers.
Richard Howorth: Creating a Perfect Space for Humanity's Perfect Invention
Richard Howorth is the owner of three local and iconic bookstores in Oxford, MS. It's one of the first places that visitors to the small college town go. Richard Howorth was also Mayor of the town and was the president of the American Booksellers Association. He has certainly left his mark on Oxford--and on Mississippi. Written and produced by Isaac Riggins and Aaron Sharp, with samples from "Morning Routine" by Ghostrifter.
Paul MacLeod: Sliding Down the Slippery Slope from Fandom to Obsession
Everyone has something that they like, maybe something that they love. But what happens when that thing you find comfort in becomes a crazed delusion? What happens if that thing leads you to abandon everything you have known? What if it destroys the life of those around you affected by the mess? This is the story of Paul MacLeod, who proclaimed himself the world's number Elvis fan. Written by Shonice Oswalt and produced by Makenzie Brannon.
Do What You Love, Love What You Do: The Story of Julia Reed
Julia Evans Reed was an author, journalist, and humorist from Greenville, Mississippi. She often wrote about things that she enjoyed, such as cooking and entertaining, and had a gift for explaining what she knew in ways that nobody else would have considered. Her life teaches two important lessons: you do not always have to have a boring career to be successful, and you can often make a living out of the things you love. Written by Sophie Hines and produced by Andrew Liu.
Having the Grace to Find a Sense of Place
Annie Hsu, a 24-year old community leader serves as an inspiration to many. Volunteering as a local Chinese church Sunday school leader at Grace Baptist Church, the lessons she teaches Asian-American youth in Mississippi reach far beyond bible verses. Written by Christina Zhang and produced by Sawyer Levenson.
Dirty Money: Betting on Mississippi's Future
Gambling addiction has ruined the lives of many. The unfortunate stories of each victim do not go unseen. Although relapses often occur, complete recovery is possible. Given the high rate of gambling addiction in Mississippi, how should the state feel about funding education through casino taxes? Written by Dia Kher and produced by Nicolas Neal.
Charles Evers: Putting His Money Where His Mouth Was
Charles Evers--an activist and the first black mayor in Mississippi after Reconstruction--pulled off the impossible for a black man in the 1900s. Not only did he redefine politics in Mississippi, but he was also a driving force for both social and economic equality. A feisty activist from Decatur, Evers helped bring about equality for blacks in Mississippi by embracing the notion that talk was cheap. After his brother, Medgar, was assassinated, Evers continued Medgar's work and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement. Whether Evers was motivated by civil rights or by money, Evers fought for what he believed in and freed many blacks from the shackles of oppression. Written by Everett "CJ" Mason, Jr, and produced by Jordyn Hughes.
Allen Atkison: Not Chicken about Making Forest a Better Place
If you ever take a ride around Forest, you’ll probably notice the chicken statues everywhere or the smell of chicken scrap trucks--seriously everything in Forest is built around chickens. But you probably don’t notice the impact Allen Atkison has had on Forest. However, his work over the last two decades makes Forest what it is today. Written by Oliver Higginbotham and produced by Cali Orman.
Sarah Thomas: Making the Right Calls
Football is widely considered a sport of male brutality, a sport that only has women either on the sidelines as cheerleaders or in bleachers. Sarah Thomas has broken countless barriers in becoming the first woman NFL referee. She has proved many times that gender should not matter when you are looking for a career. Written by Geethika Polepalli and produced by Camille Jester and Andrew Liu.
Looking at the Other Side of the Shield
First responders often get the short end of the stick. They have terrible pay and hours, rough work conditions, and a mountain of prejudice stacked up against them in the media. However, what goes on behind the scenes? What are their struggles? And most importantly, what are their stories? Written by Karlin Campbell, whose parents are first responders, and produced by Jay DeOchoa.
Looking in the Mirror and Learning to Like What We See
What do the first African American Student Body President elected at Harvard, an MSMS alum, Albert Einstein, Maya Angelo, and (most likely) you have in common? All of them have suffered from intrusive feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt while struggling through a phenomenon known as Imposter Syndrome. In a podcast produced by Ty Elam, Madison Echols takes us through the ins and outs of a mental health issues that plagues the minds of 70% of people from all walks of life, giving insight into its causes, victims, and the ways that minority statuses intersect in those who suffer from it.
The Blue Light Rapist
Women of Meridian, Mississippi in the mid-1980s traveled in fear of being the next victim of the Blue Light Rapist, a man who pretended to be a police officer. He would pull women over for traffic violations they didn't commit. Once he got them out of their vehicles, he would assault them. The man ultimately convicted of these crimes, Larry Fisher, had previously been arrested for crimes like breaking and entering, rape, and kidnapping. Only the bravery of undercover police officers brought his spree to an end. Written by Brianna Moore and produced by Adit Patel.
You Can Go Back Home Again
Wiggins, Mississippi used to be a town bustling with life. Its downtown area, Pine Hill Avenue, once had businesses lining its streets; however, in recent years, it finds itself with only two businesses left standing. The people in town are growing restless as a discussion concerning Wiggins' next steps towards growth breaks out within its local government. Join Raegan Calvert in this episode of Real Mississippi as she explains the situation unfolding on Pine Hill Avenue. Produced by Braedon Rothert.
Never a Dull Moment: The Best Middle School Biology Class
The first thing I learned about my biology teacher, Ms. Stacy Baker, was that she had once accidentally smuggled a chicken across state lines. Mrs. Baker has taught at Germantown Middle School for the past thirteen years in the small town of Gluckstadt. Day in and day out, her unique approach to teaching completely transforms her students’ learning experience. Each and every one of her students step out of her classroom as a changed--and improved--individual. Listen now to learn more about how Ms. Baker shapes the future of our society through her love for science and her dedication to her students. Written by Harsika Dillibabu and produced by Jonathan Kiesel.
Corralling the Telecom Cowboy
Was Bernie Ebbers a guilty crook who cooked the books and swindled over nine billion dollars, or an innocent man stabbed in the back by his own lieutenant? This is the story of Bernard Ebbers as the CEO of a fortune 500 company from the small, unassuming town of Clinton, Mississippi. While some think of him as a corrupt corporate villain, some Clinton residents had different tales to tell about our Telecom Cowboy. Find out what they had to say on this episode of Real Mississippi. Written by Richard Zheng and produced by Alex White.
Guilty until Proven Innocent
William Jerome Manning has been sitting on death row for the last twenty years after being convicted of committing a double homicide. Although a guilty verdict sealed his fate in court, the suspicions surrounding the conducting of his trial and legal proceedings are becoming unavoidable. Frustrations with Manning’s legal representation have garnered attention to a possible new motive for Manning’s arrest and conviction. As a Black man in Mississippi, it can only be speculated that the poor handling Manning’s case is a result of his minority status in America. Statistically, Black Americans are incarcerated at nearly five times the rate of White Americans. Racial disparities in penitentiaries commonly a result from the inadequate representation given to defendants of minority groups, and William Jerome Manning may be one of them. Written by Hilldana Tibebu and produced by Alex White.
Everybody Wants to Know Where We Sing the Blues (And Everything Else)
B.B. King. Muddy Waters. Bo Diddley. Jimmy Rodgers. All of these musicians have Mississippi running through their veins. Music is what makes Mississippi what it is. How do we make sure we remember these musicians? How do we let their melodies echo throughout history? Malcolm White knew the answer. He found a way to make sure Mississippi remembers its artists through his sensational restaurant, Hal & Mal's, and through his work with the Mississippi Arts Commission. Through the words of Nora Courtney and the production of David Johnson, find out how Malcolm White shows the world what hidden talents arise from the same soil where the Blues were born. Original music written and recorded by Steven Kennedy.
Everyone has weaknesses; something they aren’t good at, something that whatever they try, they can’t have. For my sister, Bailey White, and so many other children with Trisomy 18, their weakness is life. While their life might be their kryptonite, it’s also their way to show us what it’s like to truly be heroic. Written by Addie White and produced by Abigail Parker.
Art and Orthodonture
Dr. Lee Engel, an orthodontist, has been providing Mississippians big smiles and fine art for over 30 years. He has office locations in Greenville, Cleveland, and Clarksdale, and works diligently to make sure his patients can be confident when they smile. He also partners with the Delta Children's Museum to see to it that kids of all ages are have access to the arts. Produced by Jeremy Dawe.
Dr. Deepthi Mundra: Lighting Up Mississippi with Smiles
Dr. Deepthi Mundra--businesswoman, dentist, and mother of two--makes Mississippi a better place. Whether she's performing community service or helping patients bounce back from damage to their teeth, Dr. Mundra uses her wit and wisdom to put her patients at ease. Written and hosted by Srilaya Karavadi, and produced by Sawyer Levenson.
Samuel Mockbee: A Design for Living
Samuel Mockbee was just the second architect to earn a MacAurthur Fellowship--also known as a MacAurthur genius grant. His understanding of the ways that the spaces we inhabit transform our lives inspired him to create the Rural Studio at Auburn University. Jillian Snodgrass tells the story of a man whose fascination with design grew out of his desire to affirm the humanity of those who inhabited places he built. Produced by Kenzie Pitts.
Monique Ealey: Bringing the Universe to Mississippi Students
Monique Ealey, the Director of Education and Programs at the Mississippi Children's Museum, has a task most would consider daunting: delivering content to students of a variety of ages in a way that makes them want to learn more. From "NASA Day to Neon Nights," Ms. Ealey opens up the universe to our state's children. Written by Xiaohan Yu, and produced by Molly Mosley and Mackenzie Pitts.
Dr. Srinivasan Vijayakumar: Saving Bodies and Souls
Dr. Srinivasan Vijayakumar's most public role involves helping his patients--and his students--use medicine to overcome cancer. However, as writer Aadhav Senthil notes, Dr. Vijayakumar finds joy and meaning in saving souls as well. Produced by Hunter Chunn and Chingun Tsogt-Erdene.
Freeman Ransom: Overcoming Injustice Through Education
Freeman Ransom, born on a farm near Grenada, Mississippi in 1880, earned something very few African-Americans did during his lifetime: an Ivy League education. As a lawyer, he helped protect the success of the first self-made African-American millionaire, Madame C.J. Walker. He also made it possible for generations of African-American children to follow in his footsteps by advancing legislation that desegregated schools in Indiana, the state where he moved during the Great Migration. Written by Madison Flowers and produced by MiKayla Jones.
Amelita Ross: Ninety-Nine and a Half Won't Do
Mrs. Amelita Ross does more work in a day than many people do in a week: she teaches at North Jackson Elementary School, runs the desk at a hotel on weekends, helps raise her grandchildren, and works on earning National Board Certification. Her experiences show there's no limit for a person who gives 100% all the time. Written by Nina Patel, and produced by Molly Mosley and Mackenzie Pitts.
Mamie Till Mobley: Enduring What No Mother Should Have to Endure
Mamie Till Mobley will forever be remembered for the bravery she demonstrated in opening her son's casket as a testimony to the horrors of living under Jim Crow. Her formative years laid the foundation for her strength, which she demonstrated many years beyond her son's burial. Written by Mackenzie Knighten, and produced by MiKayla Jones and Alexis Sorg.
Glenn Armstrong: Grappling with Health in Mississippi
Glenn Armstrong is the last person most people want to see--not because he's menacing, but because his profession puts him in front of patients who have experienced something traumatic. His ability to make people feel whole again comes from his experiences in the field as an orthopedist and from his background in martial arts. Written by Micah Dees, and produced by Hunter Chunn and Chingun Tsogt-Erdene.
Dr. James D. Hardy: Pioneering Medicine in Mississippi
In 1964, Dr. James D. Hardy performed the world's first heart transplant at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. However, because the patient died soon after the procedure, Dr. Hardy's legacy involves an improved appreciation of ethics within the field of transplant surgery as well as scientific insight. Written by Khushi Patel, and produced by Hunter Chunn and Chingun Tsogt-Erdene.
Arielle Hudson: Student Activist, Rhodes Scholar
When Arielle Hudson gave campus tours to prospective students as a leader at the University of Mississippi, uncomfortable moments often ensued when groups got to the confederate memorial near Ventress Hall. Instead of trying to convince those students that Ole Miss had changed since Jim Crow, she decided it would be better to convince her peers to move that symbol of hatred away from the center of campus. Written by Chloe Sharp, and produced by MiKayla Jones and Alexis Sorg.
Sela Ward: Leadership through Service for the Queen City
Outside of Meridian, Mississippi, most people know Sela Ward as a model and Emmy Award-winning actress. But people from her hometown know her as a compassionate philanthropist who does all she can to help children whose lives have been turned upside down. Ward's road to becoming one of Meridian's most memorable heroes all began with a Christmas visit home and a soul-searching endeavor to find what home truly meant to her.
Donna Ladd: You Can Come Home Again
Philadelphia native Donna Ladd knows all about Mississippi's brain drain. She could not wait to get out of her home state as soon as she graduated from Mississippi State University. She built a career as journalist with a reputation for grappling with uncomfortable truths. In 2001, she returned to Mississippi to cover the state's first referendum on its flag and found a way should could come home again: by pushing Mississippi towards its true potential through investigative reporting. She is now the co-owner of the Jackson Free Press.
Scooter Mouse and Miss Mattie: Making McComb, McComb
From the outside, McComb, Mississippi looks unremarkable. But if you venture into the library when Scooter Mouse is there, you'll find a miracle: dozens of kids and their parents on the edges of their seats because their imaginations are being called to life. Scooter and his creator, Miss Mattie Rials, make McComb, McComb.
Donald H. Peterson: From Montgomery County to the Moon
Donald H. Peterson went from rural Winona, Mississippi to the final frontier. Peterson changed the views of many people by proving that people from small, southern towns are capable of accomplishing big things. By Lauren Hood
Dr. Deborah Hyde: Paying it Forward
Dr. Deborah Hyde is a determined, inspiring African American neurosurgeon who has given back to her community. Although Hyde faced many obstacles during her youth and throughout her medical career, she overcame them all. Moreover, she used lessons from her struggles to bring hope to students of all races by establishing the Beacon of Hope Scholarship Foundation for her community in Laurel, MS. This foundation has made a positive impact on many lives. By Madison Johnson
Tye Rollins: A Hero in Scrubs and a White Coat
Not all heroes wear capes; Ms. Tye Rollins wears scrubs and a smile. As a Nurse Practitioner at Maxem Healthcare in Flowood, she works on the frontlines of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the most distressed state in overall healthcare. She provides affordable healthcare and inspires fellow people of color to join the health profession, all while sticking with her true desire: helping others. By Nicholas Djedjos, along with voices from Cameron Wright, Caleb Jenkins, Zeke Pulido, and Vineeth Vanga.
Douglas Conner: Physician and Activist
As a doctor, politician, and civil rights activist, Dr. Douglas Conner helped promote change and healing throughout his everyday life. After his medical internship at Homer G. Philips in Louis, Missouri, he moved to Starkville, Mississippi and worked diligently for over 50 years. In Oktibbeha County, Connor organized boycotts, protests, established the Oktibbeha County NAACP chapter, and had a life changing conversation with Medgar Evers. Dr. Conner never stopped working in his lifetime for equality for African Americans, and when he died November 13, 1998, he left a legacy behind that every African American in Mississippi can still feel today. By Kayla Riley
Myrlie Evers-Williams: Through Many Glass Ceilings
Myrlie Evers-Williams, an African American activist, mother, journalist, and public speaker, is known for being the first of many. She, a Vicksburg native, has gone above and beyond to impact her community in Central Mississippi and Mississippi as a whole. From working hard to push the state more towards equality, better education, and motivating people all over the US to follow their dreams. Myrlie Evers-Williams has broken many glass ceilings and inspired African Americans, young women, and future generations to keep fighting for the betterment of all people. By Zaria Cooper
Dr. Felicitas Koller: Saving Bodies and Minds
Dr. Felicitas Koller, a surgeon affiliated with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, doesn't just want to help patients with her scalpel. She wants them to learn about their conditions so they can stay ahead of issues. Her calling also involves encouraging young women to join the highest ranks of the medical profession. By Sidney Wetherbie
Listen to the trailer for Real Mississippi, a podcast written, researched, and produced by students at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus, Mississippi.