Mississippi State Debuts New Website on Civil Rights Era in Starkville

MSUMississippi State University in Starkville has debuted a new website documenting the racial integration of the university and the civil rights movement in the community. The website, entitled “A Shaky Truce: Starkville Civil Rights Struggles, 1960-1980,” includes oral history interviews, photographs, and documents on the history of the university and the city, school desegregation, and the civil rights movement.

Richard-HolmesAmong the people who are featured in oral histories presented at the site is Richard Holmes, the first African American student to enroll at Mississippi State. Dr. Holmes entered Mississippi State in 1965, graduated in 1969, and went on to earn a medical degree at Michigan State University.

Hillary Richardson, an assistant professor at Mississippi State and one of the organizers of the new website, notes that the civil rights movement in Starkville “was successful in terms of it being peaceful in a sense but it was very slow to happen. Starkville’s civil rights movement is sort of defined by its lack of physical violence, but there’s a nuanced and personal story to tell.”

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