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Delta State University, the City of Cleveland and the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum will present H.T. Chen Dance Company's performance of "South of Gold Mountain." Photo credit: Joe Boniello

Chen Dance Company to perform at Delta State

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Delta State University, the City of Cleveland and the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum (MDCHM) announce H.T. Chen Dance Company’s performance of South of Gold Mountain.

Chen Dance Center (CDC), the nation’s largest Asian-American dance institution, announced that H.T. Chen and Dancers’ U.S. tour will kick off Chinese New Year on Saturday, Feb. 21 with a dance-theater event at 2 p.m. in Jobe Auditorium on Delta State’s campus. Open dress rehearsal will be held Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.

In celebration of Chinese New Year, the H.T. Chen Dance Company will be in residency at Delta State from Feb. 16-22. Throughout the week, movement workshops led by Chen Dance Company’s Associate Director Dian Dong and company dancers will include the traditional Chinese Ribbon Dance, contemporary dance and fitness demonstrations.

Delta State Archivist Emily Jones has worked closely on this opportunity and is looking forward to its arrival.

“I have seen our Delta history written about and photographed and even been the muse of songwriters for decades. I am excited to see our history put to dance!,” said Jones.

MDCHM Board President Raymond Wong said, “It’s our great pleasure to welcome H.T. Chen and Dancers to Cleveland. We were honored to be included in their research of Chinese immigrants lured to America by the promise of gold and a better life. The blending of Chinese music with Deep South Blues is amazing, and we’re thrilled to present this Lunar New Year gift to you.”

A meet-the-artist reception and audience Q&A will be held post-performance Saturday, Feb. 21. It will be moderated by Frieda Quon, associate professor emeritus at Delta State, Gilroy Chow, MDCHM board member and President Wong. Lunar New Year refreshments will be provided through support from the Chinese American Citizens Alliance’s Mississippi Lodge.

For reserved tickets, contact Emily Jones at archives@deltastate.edu or call 662.846.4781. Because of generous grants and donor support, this performance is provided to the public free of charge. However, a donation can be made to support future programming and the growing museum located within the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives & Museum building.

“We’re happy to accept donations from these wonderful performances to support the history and heritage of the MS Delta Chinese,” said Wong.

H.T. Chen and Dancers performs innovative pieces blending contemporary dance with traditional Asian aesthetics. For more information, visit www.chendancecenter.org/

The Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum promotes local heritage preservation by actively collecting for future generations the oral histories, memorabilia, photographs and textiles related to the history and accounts of the Mississippi Delta Chinese immigration and settlement. The collection is located at Capps Archive & Museum building and is free and open to the public.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Civil rights photographs by Jim Lucas go on exhibit Feb. 9 at Delta State University’s Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives & Museum.

Civil rights photos to exhibit at archives

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Following the debut at Tougaloo College, the photographs of the late Jim Lucas of Jackson, Miss. will be exhibited at Delta State University’s Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives & Museum building.

The exhibit opens Feb. 9 and will run through March 31, coinciding with Delta State University’s Winning the Race conference.

On Feb. 16, Dr. Robert C. Luckett will deliver his lecture “The Mississippi Plan and the Rise of Jim Crow” during the noon hour in the Lucy Somerville Howorth Seminar Room.

The exhibition’s curator, Jane Hearn, will deliver a gallery talk on March 30 at 1 p.m. as a part of the pre-conference offerings for the WTR conference. These events are free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Through a generous grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council and funding provided by the conference committee, the exhibit is free and open to the public Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lucas, a student during the early 1960s, progressed from carrier boy to photographer and lab man for the local newspaper. In 1959, at the age of 14, his first photo was published in the Jackson Daily News.

His craft with the camera led him to take photographs during his years at Murrah High School and Millsaps College, where with photojournalistic style he was as much school documentarian as he was student.

In 1964 Lucas was a student at Millsaps when the nation was focused on Mississippi and the search for Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, civil rights workers missing in Neshoba County.

During those turbulent times these events drew national press to Jackson and Lucas had the opportunity to meet and assist film cameramen from CBS News. Using his still camera he tried never to miss a visual story of his own, and soon became a “stringer” for UPI and Time and Life magazines.

In 1968, Lucas was drafted and spent his basic training in the Army at Fort Campbell, Ky., followed by special training in the Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, N.J. During his deployment in Vietnam he shot non-combat footage for the Army, gaining experience and commitment for his future career as a film cameraman.

In 1969 he was distinguished by the Department of Defense as the Military Newsfilm Motion Picture Photographer of the Year.

Upon his return to Jackson in 1973, he pursued a variety of freelance film jobs including commercial advertising, football filming and freelance newsreel work for UPI and NBC. A highlight of his career was shooting several stories for “60 Minutes.” His first job on a feature film was Robert Altman’s “Thieves Like Us” as an electrician, and his goal became to work on feature films as a director of photography.

The next years of his career included television and feature film work, almost always outside of Mississippi, including films such as “Honeysuckle Rose,”  “The Long Riders,” “Brubaker” and  “The Border.”

Lucas became known for the excellence of his technical ability and advanced to camera operator and second unit director of photography. While on location with the film “Barbarosa,” he was in a fatal automobile accident and died Oct. 19, 1980.

The Lucas Collection includes an extensive number of negatives, prints, personal narratives and a cache of memorabilia. The exhibit at Tougaloo is a sample of images Lucas made during the civil rights movement including events such as the James Meredith March for Freedom in 1966, the Wharlest Jackson funeral in Natchez in 1967, and the Senate Hearings to Evaluate Poverty in Jackson in 1967 with the subsequent trip by Senator Robert Kennedy to the Mississippi Delta.

The exhibit was created and curated by Hearn, who was married to Lucas at the time of his death. Red Morgan, photojournalist and commercial still photographer, provided additional direction. Their ongoing collaboration aims to archive Lucas’ extensive collection, and pay tribute to a passionate and skillful young photographer who grasped the significance of the events around him and conveyed his point of view in sensitive visual language.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Mississippi Humanities Council.

To schedule a tour of the exhibit, contact the University Archivist, Emily Jones at 662-8464780 or e-mail ejones@deltastate.edu.

 

 

Delta State University will honor legendary Lady Statesmen basketball coach Margaret Wade with a statue dedication Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.

Wade statue dedication planned for Nov. 14

By | Alumni, Archives and Museum, Athletics | No Comments

Margaret Wade’s impact on women’s collegiate athletics and the game of basketball is immeasurable. On Nov. 14 at 2 p.m., Delta State University and the Department of Athletics will dedicate a statue in honor of Wade’s indelible legacy.
 
“No single individual has had a larger impact on women’s athletics, especially in Mississippi, than coach Margaret Wade,” said Ronnie Mayers, director of athletics. “Her legacy lives on today through the countless young women who have the opportunity to participate and enjoy competitive sports.”
 
The dedication ceremony will take place at the West Plaza of Kent Wyatt Hall. Delta State President William N. LaForge will host the event, which features former presidents Dr. Kent Wyatt and Dr. Aubrey Lucas, and former Ole Miss and WNBA head coach Van Chancellor. A reception will follow the ceremony in the Leroy Morganti Atrium of Kent Wyatt Hall.
 
Wade served as head coach of the Lady Statesmen from 1973-79, leading Delta State to three consecutive AIAW National Championships from 1974-75 through 1976-77. During that time, Wade amassed a remarkable 157-23 record and helped pave the way for future female head coaches like Pat Summitt to excel in the sport they love.
 
“Her first four years back in coaching have been called one of the most amazing accomplishments in sports history,” said Langston Rogers, former Delta State and Ole Miss sports information director.
 
During those four years, Delta State went from having no team at all to Wade leading the Lady Statesmen to a 109-6 record and the three titles.
 
Wade received numerous awards during her career, including AIAW National Coach of the Year; Kellogg’s Mississippi Coach of the Year; and following her retirement, the title of “Mother of Modern Collegiate Basketball” was bestowed her by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. 

In addition to being the most recognizable name in women’s college basketball in Mississippi, the WBCA named its player of the year award after the Mississippi Delta legend. The “Lily Margaret Wade Trophy” is annually awarded to the nation’s top women’s basketball player in the NCAA. In 1978, Wade awarded the first-ever trophy to Montclair State guard Carol Blazejowski. 
 
In 1986, the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame made Wade the first female inductee and first female head coach to be enshrined into the hall. She is also a member of the Delta State University Sports Hall of Fame, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
 
A year-by-year breakdown of Wade’s career and her accomplishments at Delta State is listed below:
 
MARGARET WADE’S DELTA STATE YEAR-BY-YEAR RECORD:
1973-74: 16-2
1974-75: 28-0 / AIAW National Champions 
1975-76: 33-1 / AIAW National Champions 
1976-77: 32-3 / AIAW National Champions 
1977-78: 27-5
1978-79: 21-12
Totals: 157-23 (.872)

CAREER ACCOLADES:
1975 – AIAW National Champions
1975 – Inducted into MS Sports Hall of Fame
1976 – AIAW National Champions
1977 – AIAW National Champions
1977 – Kellogg’s National Coach of the Year
1978 – Wade Trophy established by WBCA
1986 – Inducted into Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame

Delta Chinese: Reflections & Reunion takes place Friday and Saturday at Delta State University and the city of Cleveland’s Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum.

Delta Chinese: Reflections & Reunion — Oct. 24-25

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Before big railroad companies forged the length of the interior of the Mississippi Delta, a group of sojourners found themselves in the midst of this alluvial plain, enticed by the stories and promises of “Gold Mountain.”

By 1870, approximately 400 Chinese laborers landed in New Orleans with a small core of that number finding their way to the upper Mississippi Delta to work in agriculture. Life was not easy for these first immigrants, but they worked hard and found that they could and would make the Delta “home.”

Learn more about the legacy of Chinese immigration in the Delta by attending Delta Chinese: Reflections & Reunion at Delta State University and the city of Cleveland’s Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum this Friday and Saturday.

A series of lectures and events will be held at the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum at the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum on campus and the train museum. Scheduled speakers include Susie Jeu Tonymon, Ted Gong, Martin Gold, Gwen Gong, Adrienne Berard and John Jung.

Topics of interest will include a family’s journey from southern China to southern Arkansas, the 1882 Chinese exclusion laws, Mississippi Chinese WWII veterans, the Gong Lum vs. Rice civil rights case and an author’s perspective of the Mississippi Delta Chinese.

“This reunion is a celebration of Chinese Americans who have their roots in the Mississippi Delta,” said Raymond Wong, president of the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum board. “Unlike Chinese Americans from (other) parts of the United States, the Chinese from Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas share a unique bond because of their Southern heritage and upbringing.

“There is a connectivity and camaraderie even if you have left the South. Everyone is invited to come join in the fun and reunion.”

Friday’s first lecture will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Jobe Hall and will feature the personal stories of Tonymon, whose family made the journey from Southern China to Southern Arkansas. Tonymon will present her memories “as a child growing up between the devastating Mississippi River flood of 1927 and the depression years of the 1930s, and how we endured the tragedies of both World War II and the Korean War — as we experienced life in the segregated South.”

The second session, beginning at 10:45 a.m., will feature Gold, author of “Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress: A Legislative History,” and Gong, founder and executive director of the 1882 Project Foundation, who will speak about the legacy of America’s Chinese exclusion laws.

The final lecture session Friday will begin at 1:45 p.m. and feature stories from Delta native, Gwen Gong. Gong is the author of six books and has been the founding and chief editor of the Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, an international journal, for the past 20 years.

Friday’s lecture series will culminate with a ribbon cutting for two new wings of the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum, located on the third floor of the Capps Archives. The museum features a full size replica of a Chinese grocery and offers a unique view into the history and daily lives of the Delta’s Chinese residents.

The new additions to the museum will showcase the vital role that the Delta Chinese played in shaping Mississippi’s educational landscape and the heroic efforts of Delta Chinese veterans. A reception will be held at the Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum following the ribbon cutting.

Saturday’s lectures will begin at 10 a.m. at the H.L. Nowell Student Union and feature Jung, author of four books on the Chinese American experience, including a memoir titled “Southern Fried Rice: Life in A Chinese Laundry in the Deep South.” Journalist Adrienne Berard, who is the scholar in residence at Delta State will also be featured. Berard’s current book project on Rosedale’s Gong Lum v. Rice case was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Award by Harvard University.

Both of Saturday’s lectures are free and open to the public. The museum, including its two new additions, will be open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday.

To learn more about this event and to register, visit www.deltastate.edu/chineseheritage.

*Special appreciation to Dr. and Mrs. Tony Chan for their financial contribution, which has initiated the Chinese Reunion. This program is financially assisted by the Mississippi Legislature through the Mississippi Department of Archives & History and by the Mississippi Humanities Council. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Mississippi Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mississippi Department of Archives & History or the University of Southern Mississippi.

new-faculty

New faculty learn about Delta

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A group of new faculty members at Delta State University were treated to an introduction of the Mississippi Delta and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area by Dr. Rolando Herts and Lee Aylward of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning on Oct. 30.

Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies and Research, organized the educational session at the Charlie Capps Archives & Museum. Emily Jones, university archivist, also provided an overview of various resources and services available at the facility.

Those who participated in the session included (l to r): Amy McAdams, instructor in health, physical education and recreation; Dr. Fatematul Jannat, visiting assistant professor in social justice and criminology; Dr. Amit Verma, assistant professor of logistics; Melaku Tadesse, assistant professor of commercial aviation; Eric Owens, visiting instructor in social justice and criminology; Dr. James Gerald, assistant professor of physics; Lee Aylward, Delta Center; Dr. Sharon Hamilton, assistant professor of chemistry; Kalilah Kemp, instructor in HPER/athletic training clinical education coordinator; Dr. Rolando Herts, director, Delta Center; and Emily Jones, university archivist.