My Internship Experience: Processing the Jason Berry Papers

20338-berylBerry, a New Orleans native, is an acclaimed author, prolific journalist, and film director who has written extensively on Southern politics, culture and religion.  The documentation of Berry’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement provides interesting insight from the perspective of a young career-minded college graduate who landed a job as press secretary for Charles Evers during his bid for governor of Mississippi in 1971. Charles Evers, mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, was the brother of slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers.  Berry published his first book, Amazing Grace: With Charles Evers in Mississippi (1973), which provided insight into Southern election practices, voter fraud, and violence at the polls.

Berry, a New Orleans native, is an acclaimed author, prolific journalist, and film director who has written extensively on Southern politics, culture and religion.  The documentation of Berry’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement provides interesting insight from the perspective of a young career-minded college graduate who landed a job as press secretary for Charles Evers during his bid for governor of Mississippi in 1971. Charles Evers, mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, was the brother of slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers.  Berry published his first book, Amazing Grace: With Charles Evers in Mississippi (1973), which provided insight into Southern election practices, voter fraud, and violence at the polls.

The Berry papers focus primarily on race relations, politics, and voting practices in Mississippi during the 1970s.  Articles, audio-taped speeches, correspondence, and video productions related to Evers’ gubernatorial campaign make up the bulk of this collection.  Also included is correspondence from Berry’s mentors: David Chandler, of Life Magazine; Hodding Carter III, of the Delta Democratic Times; and Berry Morgan and Walker Percy, both southern writers who Berry consulted for advice.

I believe that Berry’s perseverance is impressive and inspiring.  He never gave up his love for investigative reporting despite whether the subject matter was controversial or un-popular.  Processing the Jason Berry papers has been a very rewarding experience for me.

Posted by Beryl Hunter

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