Voices of Reconstruction is a two-day event devoted to understanding Reconstruction in Holly Springs. The conference begins with “Ecology of Reconstruction: Race & Land Use in Mississippi,” featuring Dr. Mark Hersey, associate professor of history and Director of the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment of the South (CHASES) at Mississippi State University; Fraser Livingston, doctoral candidate in the CHASES program at MSU; Dr. Owen Hyman, instructional assistant professor of African American Studies at the University of Mississippi; and Rhondalyn Peairs, Southern Studies graduate student at the University of Mississippi. This panel of experts will represent perspectives from southern environmental and African American history. Mitch Robinson, conservation education manager at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, will facilitate this conversation. This first session of the conference take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Yellow Fever Martyr’s Church and Museum on College Street in Holly Springs.

On Saturday, Nov. 2, the day begins with a ceremony led by Gracing the Table, a local racial healing group. The ceremony will take place at Hillcrest Cemetery at the gravesite of Reconstruction-era political leader, Hiram Rhoades Revels. The ceremony runs from 10-11:30 a.m.

The Conference will close with a very special event—“Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Sherwood Bonner in Conversation” from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Old Holly Springs Depot Ballroom on Van Dorn Street in Holly Springs. This event will feature two University of Mississippi scholars, Dr. Kathryn McKee and Dr. Shennette Garrett-Scott, who will discuss the significant roles of these two women, both born in Holly Springs, and the impacts of Reconstruction in Holly Springs on their lives.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett, born during slavery, projected her sense of justice and human rights onto a world stage—as a journalist, a human rights advocate, and a world figure fighting for justice. She is by far Holly Springs’ most renowned citizen.

Sherwood Bonner, born to privilege in Holly Springs, began her career as a writer and journalist. She escaped the violence of southern Reconstruction by giving up everything dear to her and going to Boston. Her stories and writings did much to explain her Southern perspective to Northern readers.

McKee, McMullan is professor of Southern Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and Garrett-Scott is a historian of African American and women’s history in the 20th century United States.

A reception will conclude this unique event. It is free and all are welcome.

This conference is sponsored by:

Holly Springs Tourism & Recreation Bureau

Rust College

Marshall County Historical Museum

Gracing the Table

Strawberry Plains Audubon Center

Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum

Holly Springs Depot – Wyatt Family

Yellow Fever Martyr Church and Museum

Marshall County Genealogy Society

University of Mississippi Flagship Constellations

Council of Independent Colleges

Holly Springs Historic Preservation Commission