Written in stone : a critical look at the nation's dealings with racial discussion in 2017
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One of the prizes for the 2018 Undergraduate Research Paper Contest was awarded for this paper by Beckie Jaeckels. From the first paragraph: "There are few moments in which history aligns with present discourse in an uncannily beautiful fashion. Dr. Berkley Hudson at the University of Missouri--Columbia School of Journalism can testify to this stumble of fate. Hudson is presently on research leave, working on a project to which he has been dedicated for the entirety of his academic life: the photography of O.N. Pruitt, a jack-of-all-trades photographer from Mississippi. I have been working with him since August 2016 as a research assistant and Discovery Fellow. Over those many months, I have become immersed in the setting of 20th century Mississippi. I thought I knew the extent of Pruitt's documentary photography. But paging through a rough copy of a collection of Pruitt's work, there was cause to stop: the word "Confederate" stood out strikingly clear on the glossed page. Only days prior, the alt-right and white nationalists had gathered under the pretense of protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since then, discussion about where Confederate statues and memorials belonged had been reinvigorated. On this page sat a photograph taken by O.N. Pruitt of a monument commemorating the lives of those who fought in the Battle of Tupelo "both Confederate and Union."