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Vol. 26, No. 4: The Imaginary South

Taking Our First Steps

by Patricia Crosby

“I found myself wanting to find a way to bridge the gap between the Black and white experiences of living in Claiborne County, and I hoped that the photos I took might someday help others see how they might flourish, as my girls did, from immersive contact with a culture not their own.”

In 1973, my husband and I moved from Evanston, Illinois, to rural Mississippi. Dave had accepted a teaching position at Alcorn A&M College (now Alcorn State University), one of the many HBCUs in the Deep South. We had been told that the college was under pressure from accrediting organizations to increase the number of PhDs on the faculty. Although the student body was virtually all Black, in practice, that meant increasing the numbers of white and international faculty, because Black PhDs were being aggressively recruited by white institutions that offered better pay and prestige.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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