June 4, 2021
Rita interviews another Mother of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, the trailblazing Dr. Flonzie Brown Wright. Dr. Brown Wright was the first Black woman elected to public office in Mississippi, pre- or post-Reconstruction, when she won the race to become an Elections Commissioner in Madison County in 1968. Flonzie shares experiences from her childhood, how she was protected by her mother and father, her roots in the Church, and how she became an outspoken activist.
"When Medgar was assassinated, something changed in my soul," she said of her 1963 foray into organizing and advocacy in Biloxi, MS. She was recruited by MS Freedom Democratic Party co-founder Annie Devine to run for office. She became an Election Commissioner in Madison County and helped register thousands of African American voters. Rita and Flonzie discuss her book, "Looking Back to Move Ahead," and how she persevered through years of hurdles to make a real difference.
May 18, 2021
We kick off our Mothers of the Civil Rights Era series as Rita Brent is joined by Ms. Gloria Dickerson, the daughter of civil rights activist and icon Mae Bertha Carter. In 1965, Mae Bertha integrated the previously all-white district by sending her 13 children to the public Sunflower County schools. Mae Bertha and her entire family endured years of threats, taunts, teasing, and violence in response to their enrolling in the public schools. After fights on the bus, a drive-by shooting into their home, and having their local grocer deny them food, Mae Bertha still refused to remove her children from the schools. Gloria describes how her mother's love and resilience inspired not just an entire family, but the whole community, to keep on going.
Presently, Gloria Dickerson owns and operates We2Gether Creating Change, a nonprofit in Drew, MS, serving as a change agent in the transformation of poor and low income communities from perceived places of poverty, low skills, and despair to places of prosperity, abundant skills, and hope.
April 30, 2021
Rita Brent is joined by Dr. Nakeitra Burse, founder and owner of Six Dimensions, a woman-owned, minority-owned, public health research, development and practice agency focused on health equity and social justice, to talk about Black Maternal Health. We explore the history of Black maternal health and highlight some of the black-lead organizations and initiatives improving maternal health policies and outcomes in Mississippi.