What We’re Reading: November 2015

Recommendations by Winter Institute staff

Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South (book)

UM professor and friend of the Institute Dr. Eric Thomas Weber applies a new, philosophically informed theory of democratic leadership to Mississippi’s challenges. Mississippi hero (and Institute namesake) William F. Winter writes the foreword. The book draws on insights from classical and contemporary philosophical outlooks on leadership, which highlight four key social virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. Within this framework, the author approaches Mississippi’s problems of poverty and educational frustration in a novel way applicable in and beyond the rural South. Weber brings to bear each of the virtues of democratic leadership on particular problems, with some overarching lessons and values to advance.

How They Do in Oxford (article)

Jackson native Kiese Laymon, the 2015-2016 John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi, beautifully explores race and football, Confederate symbols, and the currency of young black athletes in this article for ESPN: The Magazine.

Scholarship by Dr. Charles Dollar (articles)

Historian Charles Dollar presents two articles on Mississippi Civil Rights history: White Mississippi Baptist Ministers Who Helped Crack the Walls of The “Closed Society” (link opens a PDF file) and another about Neshoba County native Florence Mars. Mars’s 1977 memoir, Witness in Philadelphia, chronicled white hostility for black civil rights through the lens of the 1964 Freedom Summer murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. A white supporter of civil rights, Mars was no stranger to hostility: Dollar tells of a Ku Klux Klan sympathizer who tried to prevent her from teaching Bible study and leading youth fellowship at church.
(Click here to read more on Florence Mars –clicking the link opens a PDF file from the Winter Institute website)

Breathing New Life into “We the People” (article)

Noted author Parker Palmer has influenced how we at the Winter Institute have constructed important aspects of our Welcome Table process. In this essay for the blog On Being, he challenges the dominant political discourse of divide-and-conquer and reminds us instead of how coming together across our differences can empower us all.

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