April 2, 2004 - The Daily Mississippian: Barbour declares Friday Mildred Taylor Day for Ethiopia RPCV

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ethiopia: Peace Corps Ethiopia : The Peace Corps in Ethiopia: April 2, 2004 - The Daily Mississippian: Barbour declares Friday Mildred Taylor Day for Ethiopia RPCV

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-178-137.balt.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 6:15 pm: Edit Post

Barbour declares Friday Mildred Taylor Day for Ethiopia RPCV

Barbour declares Friday Mildred Taylor Day for Ethiopia RPCV

Barbour declares Friday Mildred Taylor Day for Ethiopia RPCV

Barbour declares Friday Mildred Taylor Day

by Ben Beitzel
DM City News Editor
April 02, 2004

It's a long road home for author Mildred Taylor.

More than 800 miles separate Taylor from her current residence in Ohio to her home state of Mississippi, and her return will be celebrated by the entire state.

Taylor, the celebrated children's author and winner of the prestigious Newbery Award, will have her own day as Gov. Haley Barbour has declared April 2 Mildred Taylor Day in Mississippi.

The proclamation date coincides with Taylor's rare public appearance at the 11th Annual Oxford Conference for the Book.

The session begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of The University of Mississippi.

"I can't even explain (what her coming here means)," said Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham, associate professor of secondary English presentation at Ole Miss.

"It is a very, very big deal."

The proclamation signed by the governor highlights the career of the author, mentioning a selection of her large body of work.

Included in this list is the Newbery Medal winner "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" and her first book "Song of the Trees."

The proclamation describes her nine works as, "a saga that chronicles the long arc of slavery to civil rights, bringing to life for now generations of devoted readers the scourge of racism and the beauty of love."

"Roll of Thunder," her most heralded work, is described by some as one of the most important pieces in children's literature.

"It is probably one of the most outstanding books dealing with Mississippi in the children's literature field," Oliphant-Ingham said.

"Her entire body of work has added immensely to the field of children's literature in general and in Mississippi, specifically."

Though Taylor was born in Mississippi, she moved with her family to Ohio soon after her birth.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toledo and a master's degree from the University of Colorado.

She also spent two years working with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia.

This rare appearance by Taylor may also be her last because of the private life she leads, Oliphant-Ingham said.

"She doesn't like to travel. She is coming here because of Mildred Taylor Day in Mississippi and because she has very strong roots in Mississippi and has strong ties to her family," Oliphant-Ingham said.

Oliphant-Ingham added that Taylor wanted her family to be the focus of the honors.

"She wants this to be a celebration for her family," Oliphant-Ingham said.

"Her works are based on her family's story, so this is a celebration not just of Mildred Taylor, but of Mildred Taylor's entire family."

The return of Taylor is also a celebration for the state of Mississippi, and the hope of the governor and of the state is that she is returning to a state that is better than the one she left years ago, a state she helped change.

"Mildred Taylor today returns to the place her life and her work began," the proclamation reads, "...to a Mississippi that no longer celebrates prejudice...a Mississippi that seeks to reconcile racism and rectify ignorance by honoring all people of Mississippi."

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Story Source: The Daily Mississippian

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ethiopia; Writing - Ethiopia; Minority RPCVs



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