Dr. Stephanie Rolph, SHECP academic director, receives the 2019 McLemore Prize from Erin Kempker, chair of the Mississippi Historical Society’s prize committee.

Dr. Stephanie R. Rolph, academic director for the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), recently received the 2019 McLemore Prize for her book Resisting Equality: The Citizens’ Council, 1954-1989, published by Louisiana State University Press.

The McLemore Prize goes to the best book on a subject related to Mississippi history or biography published during the previous year. Erin Kempker, chair of the Department of History, Political Science, and Geography at Mississippi University for Women, was chair of the Mississippi Historical Society’s McLemore Prize committee.

“Dr. Rolph’s analysis of the Citizens’ Council drew from an impressive range of archival collections. In telling this history, she found and reviewed sources like Council-sponsored radio programming that had been untapped by previous historians,” said Kempker. “Dr. Rolph extended her study into the 1970s and 80s and demonstrated how the Council nationalized and even internationalized their ‘messages of grievance,’ which impressed the McLemore Committee members. It was clear from Dr. Rolph’s work that—far from being isolated—the Council worked with other Radical Right organizations throughout the late twentieth century to build a burgeoning conservative movement.”

In addition to SHECP, Rolph is an associate professor of history at Millsaps College. She earned her MA and Ph.D. from Mississippi State University, specializing in the history of the South. Her work has appeared in The Right Side of the Sixties and the Journal of Southern History. Resisting Equality is her first book.

The McLemore Prize memorializes Richard A. McLemore, former president of the society and former director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and his wife, Nannie Pitts McLemore, who also served as society president and who jointly wrote numerous books and scholarly articles with her husband.

Last year’s McLemore Prize went to Charles Eagles, retired William F. Winter professor of history at the University of Mississippi, for his book Civil Rights, Culture Wars: The Fight over a Mississippi Textbook. The McLemore Prize carries a $700 cash award.

The Mississippi Historical Society, founded in 1858, encourages outstanding work in interpreting, teaching, and preserving Mississippi History. It provides annual grants to support programs of the Junior Historical Society and publishes books, maps, and other materials aimed toward the education of the general public. Membership begins at $25, and members receive the quarterly Journal of Mississippi History and Mississippi History Newsletter, and receive discounts at the Mississippi Museum Store. For information on becoming a member call 601-576-6849 or visit www.mississippihistory.com.

About the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty: The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), is a consortium of colleges and universities that are committed to the study of poverty as a complex social problem, by expanding and improving educational opportunities for college students in a wide range of disciplines and career trajectories. SHECP institutions support undergraduates toward a lifetime of professional and civil efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability. For more information, please visit ShepherdConsortium.org, or follow us on Twitter at @TheSHECP.

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