In this episode of Mississippi Stories, Mississippi Today Editor At Large Marshall Ramsey sits down with Dr. Jeannine Herron, neuropsychologist, reading expert and widow of Civil Rights photojournalist Matt Herron.
Thanks to a connection between the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Barksdale Reading Institute, pre-school children in Jackson will be experiencing an innovative approach to reading and writing this semester because of an acquisition of civil rights photographs by MMA. MMA recently acquired 80 vintage photographs of the Civil Rights Movement taken by renowned photojournalist Matt Herron, mostly of events in Mississippi that occurred in 1963 -65. He died in 2020 and left a legacy of historic photos behind. This acquisition will give MMA the distinction of having the largest museum collection of vintage Herron photographs in the country.
The connection to the Barksdale Institute is Dr. Jeannine Herron, Herron’s wife, who is a neuropsychologist who came to Jackson in 1963 to honor Medgar Evers’ life by joining hundreds of grieving citizens who walked down Lynch Street after his murder. She also started the first Head Start program in the country in Mississippi. Herron and Ramsey discuss the photographs, her time in Mississippi, the importance of reading, the program in Jackson and how a child learns to read.