Virtual Table Talks

SMA’s Virtual Table Talks are one-hour informal discussions to promote the sharing of knowledge between archivists working in Mississippi galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. Each talk will feature a speaker who will share their experience and knowledge on a given topic. For more information on this series, or if you are interested in presenting, please contact Carrie P. Mastley at

Next Talk: Against All Odds: Telling the Stories of the First Black Legislators in Mississippi, a talk given by DeeDee Baldwin, Karen Burch, and Bianca Ford

The historical record of Mississippi, as with every other state, was largely shaped and preserved by white people to serve a white supremacist version of history. Nationwide, archivists are beginning to engage in archival reparations – that is, the proactive work of finding, restoring, and giving priority to these stories and materials. Dismayed at the difficulty in finding information about the first Black men to serve in Mississippi’s state legislature, MSU history librarian DeeDee Baldwin created “Against All Odds: The First Black Legislators in Mississippi,” a website that brings together these men’s biographies, quotes from secondary sources, and hundreds of newspaper clippings to serve as a kind of virtual vertical file for each figure. In this panel presentation, Baldwin will talk briefly about the purpose and creation of the site, followed by a discussion with Karen Burch (a descendant of George Washington Albright of Marshall County) and Bianca Ford (a descendant of Emanuel Handy of Copiah County) about their ancestors’ accomplishments and legacies and the importance of bringing these stories back to light.

Friday, May 21, 2021
12:00 PM CT

Recorded Talks: