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'Ring Your Bell and Tell Your Tale: Stories from MSU’s First Black Graduates' panel discussion for Feb 15

February 9, 2024
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A year-long project curating a digital collection highlighting Black history on the Mississippi State University campus will culminate in a panel discussion as part of Black History Month.

Coinciding with the MSU Black Alumni Weekend, the MSU Libraries will host "Ring Your Bell and Tell Your Tale: Stories from MSU's First Black Graduates," Thursday, Feb. 15 at 3 pm. The event will feature five panelists including Colonel Robert Barnes, Dr. Harvest Collier, Doug Milton, Linda Milton, and Vernon White.

"Over the past year, several early Black alumni have collaborated with Archives and Special Collections faculty, staff, and graduate assistants to create a digital collection of Reflector articles highlighting Black history on campus from 1965-1975," said Associate Professor/University Archivist Jessica Perkins Smith, who is in charge of the event.

"This collection will soon be open to researchers and will be a valuable resource to those studying Mississippi Civil Rights, Black history, and the history of Mississippi State," she added.

Perkins Smith said the panel discussion will offer firsthand accounts from panelists, who will share stories of their experiences as Mississippi State students in the years following integration in 1965.

The event is part of Black Alumni Weekend, "Celebrating Bulldog Excellence," which is set for Feb. 15-18.

For more information on the "Ring Your Bell and Tell Your Tale" event, which is free and open to the public, please visit For more information on Black Alumni Weekend, visit