7th Annual Cotton Kingdom/Sweat Equity Investment Symposium:
“National Dialogue: Grandmama’nem and the Wisdom They Shared”
Indianola, MS—Remembering the stories they told, the songs they sang, the words they spoke, and the foods grandmama’nem cooked are the inspiration for 7th Annual Cotton Kingdom/Sweat Equity Investment Symposium “National Dialogue: Grandmama’nem and the Wisdom They Shared.” This year’s 2-day symposium is in dedication to Dr. Constance G. Bland, VP Academic Affairs at MVSU. Dr. Cynthia Honore Collins, Program Director/Associate Professor, Dept. of Social Work; and Mrs. Helen Sims, Ex Director, Rev. George Lee Museum will co-host the event!
The organizing team of sponsors that includes: Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC), da’ House of Khafre, Planters Bank, Khafre, Inc and numerous private donors are proud to present America’s premier interdisciplinary conference on the “Cotton Kingdom,” sharecropping, tenant farming and the significance of cotton to the American and European economies; as well as, the empowerment tools grandmama’nem shared with everyone to survive the horrors of oppression throughout American history. “The voices of those who labored in the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta have laid silent for too long. The Sweat Equity/Cotton Symposium and its offerings provide a forum for their stories, contributions, and legacies to be shared and learned,” stated the late Dr Constance Bland, VP Academic Affairs at MVSU.
The Symposium begins with a special brownbag “Art-Talk” Thursday, November 1st at noon, in the Carver Randle Auditorium on the MVSU campus, featuring Dr. Delridge Hunter from Medgar Evers College, New York, NY. Dr. Hunter will present part I of The Ella Baker Story, Mother of the Civil Rights Movement. Along with Dr. Hunter audiences will enjoy the original skit entitled Oh Freedom, written and performed by MVSU Mass Communications students, under the direction of professor Barbara Baymon.
On Friday, November 2nd a full day of scholarly lectures/presentations/films and an African arts marketplace. The festive event will be held from 9:00am – 3:00pm, in the Carver Randle Auditorium on the MVSU campus. Dr. Delridge Hunter will present part two of his presentation The Ella Baker Story, Mother of the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, audiences will be enlightened, as well as entertained by scholars from Nigeria and from around the United States. The historic unveiling of the “Grand-mama’nem Quilt” by Betty Crawford will be a highlight of this year’s event.
“Honoring the legacy of “grandmamma-nem” in a university setting gives artistic license and academic credential to the sweat equity contributions made by cotton pickers throughout the American South. Our intentions are to reflect the historic preservation efforts underway at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and the cultural works of Khafre, Inc. The cotton pickin’ culture in the American South is what most people love best about the American culture. Even more interesting is the fact that America’s phenomenal wealth and culture is for the most part sourced in cotton. This is something we need to examine much more carefully.” Stated public historian and symposium organizer Dr. C.Sade Turnipseed.
Both activities are free and will be held on the campus of Mississippi Valley State University, in the Social Sciences Auditorium, located at 14000 Hwy 82 W, Itta Bena, Mississippi. The two-day event will culminate on Friday at 7:00pm with an Ancestral Celebration and Cotton Pickers Ball in da’ House of Khafre, located at 300 Main Street in Indianola, MS. All activities during the two-day event is dedicated to Dr. Constance G. Bland.