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Neil R. McMillen Collection

 Collection
Identifier: M606

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.

Dates

  • 1935
  • 1963, 1970, 1977-1999, 2003-2004, undated

Creator

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.

Extent

.75 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

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.

Arrangement

This small collection consists of twelve folders that have been organized by topic.

Provenance

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.

Related Materials

M99, Citizen’s Council / Civil Rights Collection

Copies of works by Dr. Neil R. McMillen are available in the Cook, McCain, and Gulf Park Libraries:

The American Reaction to the Rise of Nazi Germany, March, 1933 - March, 1934 (USM thesis, 1963), call number Thesis M167a (McCain).

The Citizens' Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction, 1954-64 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971), call number HS2330.C483 M33 (Cook, McCain).

Thomas Jefferson: Philosopher of Freedom (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1973), call number E331 .M35 1973 (Cook, McCain).

A Synopsis of American History, with Charles Sellers and Henry May (Chicago: Rand McNally College Pub. Co., 1974), call number E178.1 .S46 1974 (McCain).

Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989), call number E185.93.M6 M33 1989 (Cook, McCain).

The Citizens' Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction, 1954-64 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), call number HS2330.C483 M33 (Gulf Park).

Remaking Dixie: The Impact of World War II on the American South, edited by Neil R. McMillen (Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 1997), call number D744.7.U6 R46 1997 (Cook, McCain).

Sources

• 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/.
Title
Neil R. McMillen Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Collection processed and finding aid written by Jonathan Puckett
Date
27 February 2020
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

Contact:
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