An Evening with Margaret Walker| Collaboration with Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

Mississippi Museum of Art | 308 S Lamar Street, Jackson, MS

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The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra welcomes you to an hour-long conversation between Dr. Maryemma Graham, Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at the University of Kansas and Dr. Ebony Lumumba, Department Chair of English, Languages, and Communication at Jackson State University on the life and work of poet and writer Margaret Walker. The event will be held at the Mississippi Museum of Art from 5:45 to 6:45 pm on Saturday, March 5, and in conjunction with a performance by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra of Three Songs on Poems by Margaret Walker, which will follow at the adjacent Thalia Mara Hall at 7:30 pm.

The March 5 event will be the first of two partnerships between the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Mississippi Symphony. Margaret Walker’s poem “This Is My Century: Black Synthesis of Time” stands at the center of the museum’s permanent collection. The second partnership will be on April 9, the opening day of the museum’s “Legacies of the Great Migration” exhibit, which will close with a concert by Mississippi Symphony which will include the Piano Concerto in One Movement by Florence Price, a Great Migration composer.

The March 5 conversation between Dr. Graham and Dr. Lumumba will generally focus on the lyricism of Margaret Walker’s poetry and the extraordinary relevance of her work today. The imminent release of Dr. Graham’s monumental biography on Margaret Walker, entitled The House Where My Soul Lives, will guarantee a lively discussion. Dr. Lumumba will also be reading the three poems by Margaret Walker which will be sung on the evening’s concert.

Dr. Graham is the author of ten published books, including The Cambridge History of African American LiteratureThe Cambridge Companion to the African American Novel, and Fields Watered with Blood: Critical Essays on Margaret Walker. She is the founder of Project on the History of Black Writing, and her public humanities initiatives and international projects have included The Langston Hughes National Poetry Project, the Language Matters teaching initiative for the Toni Morrison Society, the Haiti Research Initiative, and the “Don’t Deny My Voice” summer institute on African American poetry. Graham has been a John Hope Franklin Fellow at the National Humanities Center, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, a Ford and Mellon Fellow and has received more than 15 grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Lumumba’s current position as Department Head at Jackson State was proceeded by seven years on the faculty at Tougaloo College. Originally from Jackson, she is a graduate of Spelman College, Georgia State University, and the University of Mississippi.

The Mississippi Museum of Art will host a guided tour of New Symphony of Time at 5:00 pm. A cash bar will also be available at that time. After the event, we invite attendees to view the exhibition and join us for light hors d’oeuvres.

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