July 4, 1864: Black and white Vicksburg took holiday to Davis Bend

The Fourth of July celebration of 1864 at Davis Bend,  located in Warren County roughly 20 miles southwest of Vicksburg, was the first Independence Day celebration that the Black soldiers and the newly liberated Freedmen in that area had ever experienced as free men and women. Vicksburg – the prized “Gibraltar of the Confederacy” – had surrendered on July 4, 1863 when Confederate General John Pemberton had accepted General Grant’s demand for unconditional surrender. Although the surrender of Vicksburg took place on July 4, 1863, the Union Army of the Tennessee was so busy adjusting to the changed situation and establishing its new headquarters that it could not allow time for celebration. Over 70,000 troops, including 10 Black regiments that were a part of the command, were to be garrisoned at Vicksburg.  On July 4, 1864, a year after Vicksburg’s surrender, the city itself was described as drowsy and only

Read More »

Mississippi becomes face of American Democracy

As the United States of America turns 245 years old this July 4, Mississippi – the 20th state to join the Union – stands to influence American Democracy as it is known. On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its final decision in the case of Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Six out of nine justices sided with Mississippi’s State Health Officer, Thomas Dobbs, over the only state licensed abortion clinic in the state about the legality of a 15-week pregnancy abortion ban. This action was not only the catalyst for Mississippi’s abortion trigger bans (including a 6-week heartbeat law) but it overturned the landmark case, Roe v. Wade, which granted national protection in terms of the right to choose for tens of millions of women across the nation. On June 28, 2022, Congressman Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi’s 2nd district, held the sixth

Read More »




A Salute to Dr. Ivory Phillips!

Dr. Ivory Phillips has been a contributing writer to the Jackson Advocate for 42 years. He has been instrumental in highlighting issues in the Jackson community that deal with education and politics.

Mississippi Voices