John Herbers' Book on Civil Rights Era Next Up at the Overby Center
The daughter of the late Mississippi journalist John Herbers will join a discussion at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics next Tuesday about her father’s recently-published posthumous memoir, “Deep South Dispatch,” and his reporting during the civil rights era.
The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Overby Center Auditorium. There will be a reception following the event, and arrangements had been made for parking in the campus lot adjacent to the auditorium.
Herbers, who died last year, began covering the civil rights movement as a reporter for the old wire service, United Press International, but moved in the early 1960s to the New York Times where he had a distinguished career. In an introduction to the book, Herbers was described as “one of America’s most important news reporters in the second half of the twentieth century” by Gene Roberts, who was himself a prominent civil rights reporter before becoming editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
His daughter, Anne Farris Rosen, collaborated with Herbers to complete the book. She will be on hand to take part in a reflection about his work during a critical period in Mississippi’s history along with three other Mississippi journalists who knew Herbers and reported from the state in the 1960s. The other panelists will be Charles Dunagin, the long-time editor of the McComb Enterprise-Journal; Overby Center chairman Charles Overby, who was editor of the Ole Miss student newspaper, The Mississippi, 1967-68, and covered civil rights activity for the old Jackson Daily News; and Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie, who was a reporter at the Clarksdale Press Register for much of the decade.
“John Herbers built a great reputation with his strong and honest reporting during a difficult time in this state, and I’m delighted we’ll be able to honor his work in this way,” said Overby.
Politics Dominate the Autumn Schedule at the Overby Center
With a special emphasis on election year events the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics begins its twelfth year of programs on the Ole Miss campus by co-sponsoring a high-powered discussion Friday evening featuring the hosts of the popular MSNBC program “Morning Joe” and two of the most prominent contemporary thinkers and authors in America.
Following a network telecast from Oxford Friday morning, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will appear at 5 p.m. in the Ford Center to conduct a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and commentator Jon Meacham and best-selling biographer Walter Isaacson.
Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, will make opening remarks. Lack is also the founder of Mississippi Today, an online news organization that is the principal sponsor of the program.
The program is sponsored by Mississippi Today and co-sponsored by the Overby Center.
Scarborough, a graduate of the University of Alabama, had vowed several years ago to bring his program to Ole Miss on the eve of a future Ole Miss-Alabama contest after being impressed by the hospitality in the Grove and other game day activities during his earlier visit. The Ford Center program brings to the stage the past two commencement speakers at Ole Miss – Meacham and Isaacson.
All of the other Overby Center programs this season will be held in the center’s auditorium, where events are free and open to the public. Arrangements have been made for free parking in the lot adjacent to the auditorium.
“A broad array of nationally recognized journalists and commentators will give our audiences valuable insights,” said Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center.
The rest of the Overby line-up:
Wednesday, September 19, 5:30 p.m. – “IN THE DARK” – Investigative journalists for a nationally-acclaimed podcast will talk about their year-long probe into the reasons why a Winona man has been tried six times for a quadruple murder. Curtis Flowers has been in the Mississippi state penitentiary in Parchman for 21 years even though he has won repeated appeals. Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark will reveal how their work focused on the prosecutor, the witnesses and how justice works – or doesn’t.
Tuesday, September 25, 5:30 p.m. – “DEEP SOUTH DISPATCH.” – John Herbers was a Mississippi reporter who covered the early stages of the civil rights movement for United Press International before moving to a distinguished career at The New York Times. At the end of his life, he collaborated with his daughter, Anne Farris Rosen, on a memoir about his experiences in the South in the 1960s that was published this year. Rosen will be here to talk about her father with other journalists in Mississippi during that period.
Friday, October 19, 11 a.m. – ELECTION THOUGHTS – Two and a half weeks before this fall’s critical Congressional elections, political journalist Peter Boyer will be on hand to discuss the chances of a Democratic take-over on Capitol Hill. A native Mississippian, Boyer attended Ole Miss. His background ranges from The New Yorker to Newsweek, from Frontline to Fox News. He is currently a national correspondent for The Weekly Standard.
Wednesday, November 14, 5:30 p.m. – READING THE RETURNS – A pair of veteran Mississippi political handlers with opposing partisan interests – Republican Austin Barbour and Democrat Brandon Jones – will debate the outcome of the November 6 election as well as a prospective run-off later in the month for the U.S. Senate seat once held by Thad Cochran.