Online Exhibit Details Anti-Communism Efforts in State
A new online exhibit produced by a faculty member in University Libraries at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) explores the work of individuals and organizations to deter communism in the state and beyond during the last century.
“Seeing Red: Anti-Communism Efforts in Mississippi, 1944-1968” was organized by Jennifer Brannock, professor and curator of Rare Books and Mississippiana in University Libraries using items housed in Special Collections that feature various aspects of the anti-communism movement in the state.
During and after World War II, Americans were fearful of communism infiltrating the United States and altering their ways of life. To combat this fear, citizens and the local/state/federal government organized anti-communism efforts to inform the public about possible communist activities on national and local levels.
The online exhibit, which is divided into three sections – Community Activism, Civil Rights and Education (K-12 and college) - includes political correspondence, materials relating to the civil rights movement, newsletters, flyers, photographs, maps and more.
Brannock said she hopes the exhibit is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the topic as well as how the types of materials in Special Collections can tell stories.
“This exhibit provides a glimpse into how the national fear of communism and racial integration manifested itself in Mississippi,” Brannock said. “In it you’ll read letters from Mississippians to their senator, a resolution from the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) in Grenada, a memo about how the civil rights activities at Tougaloo College were communistic, and newsletters written and distributed by a local businessman. All of these voices provide a narrative about the fear that permeated the state and nation.” For information about Special Collections in University Libraries at USM, visit https://www.lib.usm.edu/spcol/.