More than a decade before the media reported on the disturbing events surrounding James Meredith's enrollment at the University of Mississippi in 1962, a different story of interaction between the races was quietly taking place on that same campus. The Education of Mr. Mayfield describes the friendship between the school's first art department chairman, Stuart Purser, andMore than a decade before the media reported on the disturbing events surrounding James Meredith's enrollment at the University of Mississippi in 1962, a different story of interaction between the races was quietly taking place on that same campus. The Education of Mr. Mayfield describes the friendship between the school's first art department chairman, Stuart Purser, and the artist, M.B. Mayfield. Purser offered Mayfield a job as a custodian and secretly gave the artist one-on-one art lessons and arranged for classroom doors to be open so Mayfield could listen to class lectures, while sitting in the nearby broom closet. The Education of Mr. Mayfield tells the story of how M.B. Mayfield overcame many of the obstacles placed in his way by racism, but it also tells of the quiet acts of courage displayed by some white Southerners who found ways to defy the injustices of that time and place....
|Title||:||The Education of Mr. Mayfield: An Unusual Story of Social Change at Ole Miss|
|Number of Pages||:||237 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Education of Mr. Mayfield: An Unusual Story of Social Change at Ole Miss Reviews
One of my great loves, other than books, has always been the study of history. More often than not, my attention was drawn, not to the great and widely known stories that we learn in the schoolroom as children, but the small and little known parts of history. Those moments, which in their own way, led to the epic events recorded in history books. As we focus on Black History this month, I wanted to draw your attention to a book you may not have heard of- The Education of Mr. Mayfield. This book by David Magee focuses on a small group of people who played a part in the nurturing of an artistic talent that may never have been known. A voice that would have been silenced due to the prevailing ignorance and injustice of the time. The story of how W.B Mayfield’s artistic talent came to the attention of the head of the new Art Department at the University of Mississippi is the result of a series of unrelated events that had a lasting impact for all those involved. Most know the story of James Meredith’s groundbreaking and arduous path to become the first black person to gain admittance to the then all white University of Mississippi, or “Ole Miss” as it is widely known. We know that it took a Federal mandate and escort to allow Meredith to cross the doors into this venerable state institution, and that it occurred under the cloud of riot, which resulted in two deaths. What most do not know is that more than ten years earlier a young black man named W.B Mayfield had been receiving an education in art at Ole Miss. Mr. Mayfield was not officially enrolled at the university. It would have been against the law at that time. The education of W.B Mayfield at Ole Miss would have been impossible without the help and understanding of the newly appointed head of the Ole Miss art department, Stuart Purser. Purser happened upon Mayfield and his art collection on a weekend road trip to a nearby town, and was intrigued and enchanted by what he saw. Upon learning that Mayfield had never received any sort of formal training, Purser came up with an idea- an idea that would give Mayfield a steady income and an education at the same time. Hiding him in plain sight, as janitor in the art department and caretaker of the university’s gallery, Mayfield took classes, along with white students, from an adjoining broom closet. Other like-minded and sympathetic members of the faculty aided Purser in his tutelage of Mayfield during his two-year stay at the University of Mississippi. Mayfield’s talent even came to the attention of another illustrious member of community- Nobel Prize winning author, William Faulkner. Viewed by today’s standards, Mayfield’s secret and segregated education may seem like nothing more than a token gesture, but it was in fact quite daring and innovative. While Purser was only with Mayfield at University of Mississippi for two short years, the impact he and others had on Mayfield would last throughout his life. Purser opened the door for Mayfield and others like him throughout his academic career, and while this book focuses on Mr. Mayfield’s life and artistic career, it is truly the story of both men. It is also the story of the University of Mississippi’s slow and sometimes troubled transition into the future. David Magee has a long history of association with the university, beginning with his childhood days when he played about the campus where his father taught and where he later attended himself. He chronicles the journey of Purser, Mayfield and Ole Miss itself with diligent care and honesty. The Education of Mr. Mayfield is one of those untold stories in history that deserves a place of honor alongside the bold headlines that followed it. It is a story of one man’s compassion and sense of justice and how that act allowed another to shed beauty onto a sometimes ugly world. Review by Brenda Seward, Simple Pleasures Books & Giftswww.simplepleasuresbooksandgifts.com
This is a wonderful book. If you are a southerner, a history buff or someone who enjoys reading then this is the book for you. I graduated from the University of Alabama so I am very familiar with Ole Miss since they are in the South Eastern Conference. I am also familiar with the story of James Meredith, the first Black person to enroll at Ole Miss. Notice I said "enroll", because this book tells about someone who studied at Ole miss over a decade prior to James Meredith!!! This book gives insider information for Ole Miss that paints a different picture than what I've always assumed.... and I'm so glad I read it. This was the July 2014 selection for my bookclub. The author attended the meeting and we were overjoyed to get even more inside info on the book and the author's current projects.
thanks mr. Magee for a wonderful story of a part of history that I would never have known and most importantly thanks for coming to share your insights with our book club.