Neil R. McMillen Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of research materials that McMillen utilized in the publication of Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow (1989), as well as several early drafts of that book. Documents and correspondence on the Shelby Thames administration from 2003-2004 are placed at the end.
Box 1, Folders 1-3 house documents from the American Nazi Party, a journal and brochure from the Citizens’ Council, and pamphlets from Klanwatch, a program organized by The Southern Poverty Law Center to monitor activity in the Ku Klux Klan. In Box 1 Folder 4, correspondence references the success of Dark Journey and includes a letter from Mississippi governor William F. Winter after a dinner party held at McMillen’s home. Flyers, reviews, and newspaper articles are in Box 1 Folders 5-6, and drafts of his book are located in Box 1 Folders 7-10 and Box 2 Folder 1.
Box 2 Folder 2 contains information regarding the Shelby Thames administration at the University of Southern Mississippi, which made controversial headlines in 2003-2004 after the firing of Drs. Frank Glamser and Gary Stringer. These papers include a speech McMillen gave to the Faculty Senate following its unanimous vote of no-confidence in the Thames administration.
- Creation: 1935
- Creation: 1963, 1970, 1977-1999, 2003-2004, undated
- McMillen, Neil R., Dr., 1939- (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Noncirculating; available for research.
Conditions Governing Use
This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).
Biographical / Historical
Neil Raymond McMillen was born in Michigan in 1931 and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. After earning a doctorate from Vanderbilt University, McMillen returned to USM and worked as a history professor from 1969 until his retirement in 2001.
As an historian, McMillen specialized in African American studies and race relations. McMillen’s published Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow (1989), which won the Bancroft Prize for the year’s best work in American history and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The publication is seminal in the field of African American studies. McMillen explains in the Preface that “[t]his is a history of Mississippi’s black people, its majority people, and their struggles to achieve autonomy and full citizenship during the critical period of disfranchisement, segregation, and exclusion following 1890.”
Following his retirement from the University of Southern Mississippi, McMillen was the recipient of the B. L. C. Wailes Award, the highest honor granted by the Mississippi Historical Society.
.75 Cubic Feet
Language of Materials
The Neil R. McMillen Collection consists of correspondence and research relating to Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow (1989), as well as documents pertaining to the Shelby Thames administration at the University of Southern Mississippi. This collection is of particular interest to researchers studying Mississippi in the Jim Crow era, racialized political groups like the American Nazi Party in the twentieth century, and the University of Southern Mississippi in the early twenty-first century.
This small collection consists of twelve folders that have been organized by topic.
Donated by Dr. Neil R. McMillan in 1999 and 2015.
Existence and Location of Copies
For Digitized Materials from this collection, see: EXTERNAL DOCUMENTS link at bottom of page.
• Case File
• Contents from the collection
• Ownby, Ted. “Neil R. McMillan [sic], b. 1939.” Mississippi Encyclopedia, Center for Study of Southern Culture. 11 July 2017, http://mississippiencyclopedia.org/entries/neil-r-mcmillen/.
Genre / Form
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.).
- Fliers (Ephemera).
- Records (Documents).
- African Americans -- History.
- Authors -- Mississippi.
- Citizens' Councils of America.
- Mississippi -- History -- 19th century.
- Mississippi -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.
- Race relations.
- University of Southern Mississippi -- Faculty.
- University of Southern Mississippi -- Presidents.
- Neil R. McMillen Collection
- Collection processed and finding aid written by Jonathan Puckett
- 27 February 2020
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository
118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001