Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, will deliver the Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture on Thursday, September 8, at 6:30 p.m. at Galloway United Methodist Church in Jackson. The event will be hosted in partnership with the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) as part of their joint year-long initiative to expand understanding of the Great Migration and its impact on Mississippi and the nation. The event is free to the public, and registration is required. A book signing will follow.
“We are honored to have Isabel Wilkerson give this fall’s Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “Her examination of the Great Migration and its impact nationally, and on Mississippi, will be the culmination of our shared initiative with the Mississippi Museum of Art to examine this pivotal moment through history and art.”
Wilkerson is author of critically acclaimed New York Times bestsellers The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her “deeply humane narrative writing” while serving as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first Black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Wilkerson the National Humanities Medal for "championing the stories of an unsung history."
The event is free to the public, and a book signing will follow. Registration is required. Reserve now at msmuseumart.org/rsvp/.
MMA’s partnership on this lecture is a part of closing weekend for their exhibit, A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of The Great Migration. MMA will host other events such as "Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration" and a final gallery talk with Leslie Hewitt.
The Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series was established in 2003 to honor the legacy of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, one year after Myrlie Evers made an extraordinary gift to the people of Mississippi when she presented the Medgar and Myrlie Evers papers to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). Previous Evers lecturers include Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Lonnie Bunch, Henry Louis Gates, Robert P. Moses, and Manning Marable.
In 2014, the Kellogg Foundation awarded $2.3 million to MDAH to support programming at the Two Mississippi Museums and fund a partnership between MDAH and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute. Wilkerson’s lecture is also supported by the Mississippi Museum of Art and The Chisholm Foundation. The event will be held at Galloway United Methodist Church, located at 305 North Congress Street in Jackson. For more information, call 601-576-6850. To register, go to msmuseumart.org/rsvp/.
Photo of Isabel Wilkerson by Joe Henson.