February 19, 2021
David Tisdale, The University of Southern Mississippi
Clyde Kennard‘s story – of his persistent attempts to enter the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in the 1950’s – is one of the lesser known stories of the mid-20th-century Civil Rights Movement.
From 1990 to 1993, USM undergraduate Riva Brown, seeking to provide fellow African-American students an alternative news source, produced, edited and published The Unheard Word.
Now, thirty years later, Professor Brown (now at the University of Central Arkansas) has joined forces with the USM Center for Black Studies, the Southern Miss Association of Black Journalists (SMABJ) and other supporters to revisit that student publication.
“In the early 1990s, the publication was committed to raising awareness about Clyde Kennard, and ensuring that the University properly honored him for his efforts to become the first Black student to attempt to enroll,” Dr. Brown said. “Kennard received official recognition before The Unheard Word ended in spring 1993, recognition that continues to this day through the work of the Center for Black Studies and others.
The upcoming Vol. II of The Unheard Word will be released the week of Feb. 22, 2021.