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University of Mississippi Makes Available Oral Histories of Student Protesters Sent to Parchman Prison Farm

The Parchman Oral History Project (POHP) was a collaborative oral history, archival, and documentary storytelling project on incarceration in Mississippi founded and directed by Dr. Garrett Felber in 2019.

Lasting only one summer, its inaugural project -- Mississippi '70 –- chronicled several major student rebellions in Mississippi and the mass arrests which followed during the year 1970. One of these, in which 890 students were arrested at Mississippi Valley State College (now University) and incarcerated at Parchman Prison, remains the largest student arrest in U.S. history.

From June - August, 2019, students from Harvard College, Tougaloo College, and the University of Mississippi recorded oral histories with former student activists. The students also participated in oral history and archival training workshops, attended the Radical Commitments: The Life and Legacy of Angela Davis conference at Harvard University, and shared their work at the Making and Unmaking Mass Incarceration conference in Oxford, Mississippi.

The recording of oral histories about the arrests at the University of Mississippi in 1970 prompted the events commemorating the 50th anniversary the following February 2020: Black Power at Ole Miss

Student participants:

  • Katherine Aberle, University of Mississippi
  • Courtney DeLong, Harvard College
  • Kiara Johnson, Tougaloo College
  • Minahil Khan, Harvard College
  • Jasmine Stansberry, University of Mississippi
Read entire article at University of Mississippi