MVSU’s Brooks named to MS Historical Society Board of Directors

September 11, 2020

ITTA BENA, Miss.—A Mississippi Valley State University administrator was recently appointed to the board of an organization designed to preserve Mississippi history. 

Dr. La Shon F. Brooks, MVSU’s chief of staff and legislative liaison, has been selected to serve on the Mississippi Historical Society Board of Directors. 

Brooks will serve a three-year term in the organization, which encourages outstanding work in interpreting, teaching, and preserving Mississippi history.

“The Mississippi Historical Society is pleased to welcome Dr. La Shon Brooks to its board of directors and looks forward to working with her as we continue to tell a more inclusive, accurate version of our state's complex history,” said Brother Rogers, secretary and treasurer of the Mississippi Historical Society. 

Brooks said she is excited about the opportunity to be a part of such a distinguished organization. 

“I was honored to have been nominated as a board member for the Mississippi Historical Society,” she said. “I am excited to work with a diverse group of individuals from around the state who are committed to authentically sharing the history of Mississippi to such a broad audience through publications and online resources.” 

During her first term, Brooks will serve on the membership and awards committees. 

“I’m looking forward to serving and having a broadening experience,” she said. 

The Mississippi Historical Society was organized in Jackson on November 9, 1858, under the scholarly leadership of B.L.C. Wailes, but survived less than two years. It was reorganized in 1890, and by 1898, under the editorship of Franklin L. Riley, the society had issued the first of fourteen volumes of the Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, a notable series that was to set the tone for other distinguished society publications. 

In 1902, the society played a central role in establishing the Department of Archives and History, and the two organizations worked together to produce five additional volumes of the Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society between 1916 and 1925.

The society became dormant but was reorganized in 1952 and has remained active since then. In 1964 the society brought back into print J.F.H. Claiborne’s landmark work Mississippi as a Province, Territory, and State. Since the publication of that classic, the society has taken an active role in producing significant books on the history of the state.

 In 1973, the society, in cooperation with the Department of Archives and History, the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, and the University and College Press, published the first comprehensive history of Mississippi in fifty years, the two-volume History of Mississippi edited by R.A. McLemore. In 1987 the society sponsored the first popular illustrated history of the state, Mississippi: An Illustrated History, written by Edward Akin.

In the 1990s the society established a major series spanning the history of Mississippi. Seven books, each covering an important subject or era, were published by the state’s bicentennial in 2017. More are under contract. The books of the Heritage of Mississippi Series are written for a broad audience of scholars, teachers, students, and interested general readers.

To learn more about the Mississippi Historical Society, visit