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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Common Read

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Common Read 2014-2015

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

Anne Moody’s Coming of Age in Mississippi is a 1968 memoir about growing up black in Mississippi in the 1940s and 1950s. Moody, a friend of Joan (Trumpauer) Mulholland, participated in the famous Woolworth’s sit-in that occurred on May 28, 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi.

Campus Events

On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, historian M.J. O’Brien and civil rights activist Joan (Trumpauer) Mulholland discussed the history of the Jackson, Miss., Civil Rights Movement in a presentation in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland participated in the famous Woolworth’s sit-in that occurred on May 28, 1963 in Jackson, Miss. Other sit-in participants included a group of students and faculty from Tougaloo College, a private and historically black institution in north Jackson. The sit-in took place during a time when racial segregation was prevalent in Jackson. A mob arrived, and some students were beaten. The events of the day are summarized in a USA Today article here.

On Wednesday, September 10, 2014, “An Ordinary Hero,” a 90-minute film documentary about Mulholland’s life and experiences in the Civil Rights Movement, was shown in Ostrander Auditorium, located in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union. A question and answer session with Mulholland followed.

M.J. O’Brien is an independent writer who lives and works in Vienna, Va. His first book, “We Shall Not Be Moved: The Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In and the Movement It Inspired,” was awarded the prestigious Lillian Smith Book Award, which, according to Wikipedia, honors books and their authors who “through their writing, carry on Smith’s legacy of elucidating the conditions of racial and social inequality and proposing a vision of justice and human understanding.”