Travel: Find the literary spirit of Mississippi in Jackson

Travel: Find the literary spirit of Mississippi in Jackson

For decades, Mississippi’s historically low literacy rate has been juxtaposed with the great literature its writers have created. The state’s love affair with the written word is documented on library and bookstore shelves around the world. 

When Jerry Mitchell, one of the state’s greatest journalists, recognized the growing momentum to ban books, he and his cohorts at nonprofit news organization Mississippi Today decided to organize the Banned Books Festival, set for March 25 at Millsaps College, 1701 N. State Street, Jackson, Mississippi. 

In fact, between July 2021 and June 2022, PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans listed 2,532 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,648 book titles, including 17 districts across the country banning “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas of Jackson, Mississippi. 

Thomas will be a speaker at the Banned Books Festival, along with Jesmyn Ward, Kiese Laymon, Rick Bragg and other noted authors.

Eudora Welty

“We’ve got such a strong literary spirit through all of Mississippi. Eudora is at the heart of it,” said David Lewis, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission.

An acclaimed writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, Welty drew on her deep Mississippi roots to inspire some of her most-loved books and stories. Her longtime home in Jackson, the Eudora Welty House and Garden, is now a museum and open to the public. House tours are given at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Other notable writers who have lived and written in Jackson include:

  • Richard Wright, author of “Black Boy” and “Native Son.”
  • Margaret Walker Alexander, credited with writing the first true African American novel, 1966’s “Jubilee.” See the Margaret Walker Center on the Jackson State campus.
  • Richard Ford, a National Book Award and Pulitzer winner, who was born and raised in Jackson. 


About Mary Weyand 20629 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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