Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State awarded prestigious grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Tommiea King

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of

Robert Luckett, Ph.D, director of the Margaret Walker Alexander Center

Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University will put in place a feasibility study for a state-of-the-art research complex dedicated to the African-American experience.

The grant will not only determine the expected size, cost, and design of this new venue, but will enable the staff of the Margaret Walker Center and its partners at Jackson State, including students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Art, to engage leaders at museums and archives across the nation in discussions about best practices.

“This IMLS grant is the first step in a process that will protect all archival collections at JSU and will enable the Margaret Walker Center to solidify its future, especially as we implement a strategic plan taking us to Margaret Walker’s centennial year in 2015,” said Robert Luckett, center director. “We are extremely excited.”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

“This year’s funding will help African-American museums train staff, improve business practices and increase the use of technology to preserve and share African-American history and culture,” said IMLS director Susan Hildreth. “These organizations, their exhibits, programs and collections, and the people who lead them are truly inspiring. We are proud to support them.”

Museum grants for African-American history and culture are intended to enhance institutional capacity and sustainability through professional training, technical assistance, internships, outside expertise, and other tools.

For more information, visit or You can also contact the Margaret Walker Center at or 601-979-2055.


Hit Blues Artist Zac Harmon To Perform at Jackson State

Tommiea King

(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Margaret Walker Center will host its annual fundraiser, An Evening with Zac Harmon, in the Rose Embly McCoy Auditorium at Jackson State University at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 7. The evening will also be a celebration of Margaret Walker’s birthday; she would have turned 96-years-old that day. Tickets are $30 general admission.

Born and raised in the heart of Jackson, Miss., Zac Harmon is a true disciple of the blues music that emanated from the city’s Farish Street Historic District. Universally recognized as the home of such legends like the late, great Elmore James, Farish Street was quite simply the impetus for the blues, as it was the center of culture, commerce and creativity during Harmon’s early years.

While in high school and college, Harmon gigged as a guitarist for the likes of Z.Z. Hill, Dorothy Moore and Sam Myers. Relocating to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, he worked as a studio musician, and then established himself as a writer and producer.

Composing and performing music for a movie score, Harmon was finally compelled to pursue his longtime dream to return to his roots and record his first blues project. The result was the 2002 Live at Babe & Ricky’s Inn, an electrifying testimony to Mississippi blues. Harmon’s debut release was followed by The Blues According To Zacariah, which won the Blues Music Award for “Best New Artist Debut.” XM Satellite Radio listeners voted Harmon “Best New Blues Artist” in 2005, and later that year, he was featured in Blues Revue magazineas one of the 10 artists who “…represent the future of the blues.”

A graduate of Jackson State University, Harmon looks forward to returning home and performing for such an important cause.

Contact the Margaret Walker Center at 601-979-2055 or for more information about purchasing your tickets.

– JSU –
About Jackson State University: Bridge to a Brighter Tomorrow
Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of the state of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit