Civil Rights Special Collection

The development of this special collection is a collaborative effort on the part of Dr. David L. Beckley, President of Rust College, Dr. Hilda B. Williams, Assistant Professor of English, Mrs. Anita Moore, Director of the Leontyne Price Library, Mrs. Wanda Pegues, Assistant Director of the Leontyne Price Library and Ms. Gwendolyn Jones, Cataloguer.

The collection will primarily consist of books, manuscripts, documents and other printed materials by and about Ida B. Wells-Barnett and other local, national, and international social justice/civil rights activists and movements.  Videotape recordings and film materials about social justice/civil rights figures and activities will be available for viewing.  Computers and a printer will be available for those who wish to do extended research requiring accessing databases for information.

Faculty, staff, students, local community members, guests, scholarly researchers are all invited and encouraged to use this valuable repository resource,which will be housed on the third floor of the Leontyne Price Library at Rust College.

The Ida B. Wells-Barnett Social Justice/Civil Rights Special Collection is scheduled to open officially  Friday, July 13, 2018 at 9:15 a.m.

Introducing “Ida B. Wells-Barnett – ANSWERING THE CALL TO SERVE”
authored by Dr. Hilda B. Williams, Rust College – Holly Springs, MS  

Ida B. Wells-Barnett – Answering the Call to Serve is a “must read” for any African American woman (or anyone) who has a fervent desire to live/achieve her/their God-ordained destiny.  Ida B. Wells-Barnett, as told by author Dr. Hilda B. Williams pursued that fulfilling with a sincere desire, dedication and commitment “to serve.”  Williams makes it clear–inexcusable for anyone to misinterpret or lack understanding of God’s plan and purpose for their lives.

The “core” of William’s writing presents more than just history, efforts and accomplishments of Wells-Barnett.?  It provides the answer to questions of those who are saying, “a charge to keep I have; a God to glorify,” but How?”  Williams explains how and why.  Once you pick this book up, you won’t want to put it down until  you have completed its reading, all while nodding your head and saying “Yes”–to that “calling that God has placed upon your life–with clarity and empowerment to launch deeper into that “calling.”

Williams quotes Crossfield (2011) regarding her thoughts on Wells-Barnett’s call to a ministry of struggle for rights.  Crossfield (2011) recognized Wells-Barnett’s call to a ministry of struggle for rights and she stated “conversion and a call to minister were central to (Wells-Barnett’s] response as she petitioned God to direct her life so that she could address social outrage” (p.261).

She, Crossfield (2001) further points out that Wells-Barnett “never” [wavered] or [compromised] in her calling from God” (p. 261).  This is evident for example in Wells-Barnett’s reactions to tremendous challenges and tragedies she faced early in life.  For example, at the age of sixteen, following the sudden deaths of her father, mother, and brother Stanley, Wells-Barnett stepped forward courageously and accepted the full responsibility of caring for her five young er siblings.Williams asks the question, “Why was Ida B. Wells-Barnett successful despite tragedies, obstacles, trials, challenges, setbacks and even threats on her life?”   Then she presents the answer.

Wells-Barnett is indeed a perfect example of an individual “Answering the Call to Serve.” How appropriate that Williams published this book, “for such a time as this” (Holy Bible, KJV).  It encourages African American women (and anyone) to do the same–to answer the “call to serve!”

To purchase copies of Ida B. Wells-Barnett:  Answering the Call to Serve, contact:

Dr. Hilda B. Williams
Rust College
150 Rust Avenue
Holly Springs, MS  38635
Phone:  662-252-8000 Ext. 4603