Write On, Mississippi!

8/14/2020

Write On, Mississippi Season 3, Chapter 7: Page to Screen

Season 3, Ep. 7
Mississippi Film Office Director, Nina Parikh, leads a conversation between author, Michael Farris Smith, and filmmakers, Graham & Parker Phillips to discuss adapting Smith's book, THE FIGHTER, to film.Graham and Parker Phillips are brother writer/directors based out of New York and Los Angeles. Parker studied literature at Bucknell University while Graham studied U.S. History at Princeton where he wrote his thesis on indigenous marginalization and resistance in the United States.Graham has performed in a variety of roles on stage, film and television, including leads in the films Goats, Evan Almighty, XOXO, Staten Island Summer and Blockers, as well as in the Broadway musical 13. He was also a series regular on The Good Wife and currently plays on Riverdale and Atypical.Their first short film, The Mediator, inspired by their father and set in 1890s gold country, won the 2015 Carmel International Film Festival. Their first feature, The Bygone, premiered at Austin, Bozeman and Deadcenter Film Festivals and was sold to Netflix.They are set to direct the feature Rumble Through the Dark, based on Michael Farris Smith’s novel The Fighter and produced by Cassian Elwes, as well as Blackwood, based on Smith’s most recent work of the same name. They are also executive producing an original drama series with Michael Farris Smith as well as a thriller series based on John Hart’s New York Times best-selling novel, Redemption Road.Michael Farris Smith is the award-winning author ofBlackwood,The Fighter,Desperation Road, andRivers. Hisnovels have appeared on Best of the Year lists withEsquire,Southern Living,Book Riot,and numerous others, and have been named Indie Next List, Barnes & Noble Discover, and Amazon Best of the Month selections.He has been a finalist for theSouthern Book Prize,theGold Dagger Awardin the UK, and theGrand Prix des Lectricesin France.Nick, his sixth novel, releases in January.He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters.
8/14/2020

Write On, Mississippi: Season 3. Chapter 11: Roy DeBerry

Season 3, Ep. 11
A native of Holly Springs, Mississippi, Roy is the Executive Director and one of the founders of the Hill Country Project.He was active in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, first as a Freedom School student (whose teacher was Hill Country co-founder Aviva Futorian) and then as a general organizer.Roy earned his bachelor's degree in Sociology at Brandeis University in 1970. Continuing his education at Brandeis, he went on to earn a Masters and later a Doctorate in Political Science. He has also pursued additional studies at Jackson State University, Duke University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Michigan and Harvard. Roy is certified to teach at the high school level, and has extensive administrative management experience. Roy believes firmly in education and strongly in a collaboration among education, human service, faith-based organizations and the business community. He also works to expand parent, community, alumni and business support for higher education.Active in many community, civic and professional organizations, Roy has received numerous awards and has been cited for outstanding achievements and contributions. Roy recently retired as Vice President for Economic Development and Local Governmental Affairs at Jackson State University. During his administrative tenure at Jackson State, he also served as Executive Vice President and Vice President of External Relations.He has a wife, Rubye and one daughter, Aisha Isoke.Pamela D.C. JuniorMotivational speaker, historian, and women’s activist, Pamela D.C. Junior is the newly appointed director of the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, Mississippi. As former manager of Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Pamela fought passionately and tirelessly to make the Museum a first-class place of interpretation, bringing the museum from financial struggles to features across the nation, most notably, one of CNN’s “50 States, 50 Spots”. After seventeen years of service at Smith Roberson, Pamela became the inaugural director of the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the nation, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museums were she welcomed more than 250,000 visitors in her first year, and today, she is at the helm of the Two Mississippi Museums. Here she continues her tireless work to share the stories of Mississippi with audiences all over the world. She believes the stories told in the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum should be used as an educational tool for students. In her words, “If we teach children about the history of Mississippi—sharing the events that give us hope and bring us despair in a public space, where we see examples of people who never gave up, whose strength and tenacity can now give us hope and inspire us all to see others as we see ourselves— you will secure a twinkle in the eyes of many that will last a lifetime.”Pamela has been honored over the years for her professional work as well as her community work. In 2015, she was awarded the Margaret Walker Center’s coveted For My People Award, in 2018 she was selected for Visit Jackson’s Hometown Hero and the Magnolia Bar Association’s Harriet Tubman awards, and most recently, she was honored with the 2019 Association of African American Museums Museum Leadership Award for her work in the museum field.Pamela continues to serve her community with her recent appointments board member for Visit Jackson and advisory board member for the Mississippi Book Festival. She is also a member of Women for Progress of Mississippi. As a woman who knows that she did not get to this position without standing on the shoulders of many women whose vision for African Americans lives on today, she gives homage to the great women of her life such as her grandmother, mother, and mentors.Pamela is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and earned a B.S. in Education, with a minor in Special Education from Jackson State University.