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Black Magnolias with Voices

This program draws from scholarship on Black girls’ multiple identities and literacies in a culture that has historically and systemically excluded them from spaces of empowerment. The MLP established Black Magnolias with Voices to give Black girls and women in Mississippi an outlet to build creative texts, address issues important to them, and use their work to capture life as they experience it.

Our daughters have something to say! Read about it!

Click on the link to their blog below. 

Black Magnolias with Voices 

2022 Women's History Month Reading Spotlight

Theme: “Women Who Shaped Life, History, and Culture in Mississippi”

On Saturday, March 19, The Magnolia Literacy Project hosted a Youth Reading Spotlight/Videography Series in Brookhaven, MS. The purpose of this event was to honor the achievements of Eudora Welty, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Margaret Walker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Evelyn Gandy, Fannye Cook, Unita Blackwell, and Constance Slaughter Harvey.


Students from West Lincoln Attendance Center, Loyd Star Attendance Center, Enterprise Attendance Center, Lipsey Middle School, and Pearl Junior High School participated. A proud group of supportive mothers and grandmothers attended.

Melanie Lewis, Director of the Brookhaven/Lincoln County Boys and Girls Club, was instrumental in supporting the students.




2020-2021 Writing & Visual Arts Awards: Empowering Writers and Artists

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Congratulations ... Celebrating Success!!!

In 2020-2021, several remarkable young writers and artists  demonstrated creativity and substance in poetry, prose, and/or visual art. Proving that writing is an important form of advocacy, they utilized their pens and paints to show leadership, provide inspiration, build identity, and represent community. It brings us great joy to recognize them!

Women's Advocacy Award: Recipients of this honor promote empowerment, self-confidence, and self-love while challenging cultural practices, discriminatory attitudes, and superficial values that marginalize girls and women.

*Honoree: Di'Ovion Smith

Social Justice Award: Honorees of this award examine topics that are often avoided but lead to increased conflict if left unaddressed. Recipients challenge norms, promote change, and demonstrate rhetorical activism. 

*Honorees: Erica Barnes and Jamee McAdoo

Bloom Award: This award is rooted in the idea of growth despite challenging circumstances. Recipients appeal to audiences through messages of hope, faith, and perseverance. 

*Honoree: Hannah Jackson

Writing Excellence and Graphic Design Award: Recipients of this award demonstrate a range of literary talents, conveying meaning through written and visual forms of expression.

*Honoree: Natalie Dickens

We need ...

  • To study other cultures and see the beauty in all parts of the Venn diagram.

  • To be mindful of past events and trust history ... but not history books.

  • To challenge norms.


Jamee "JEM" McAdoo

Junior, Jackson State University

Mass Communications/Media Studies Major


Congratulations to poet, Erica Barnes, an eleventh grader at Monticello High School! She recently earned fifth place in the Educators Rising impromptu speaking competition, sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Education. She is among a select group of students recognized with this honor.


Erica became a published poet as a ninth grader in 2020, when The Magnolia Literacy Project published her poems, "Help Me Understand" and "Maybe", on the blog Black Magnolias with Voices. Both poems address racial injustice. After they were published, she was invited to  speak at Delta State University’s “Winning the Race” virtual conference. Winning the Race aims to engage not only Delta State’s campus in promoting racial healing but the community at large, including Mississippi's high school students.

Great job, Erica! Keep leading through writing and public speaking!

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"Writing is how I show the world my point of view. For the longest, I was too shy to speak up for myself, so I let my writings do it for me. It was a way to give the world a glimpse inside of my soul.

It was very rewarding to know that my thoughts were important enough to be published by The Magnolia Literacy Project. I felt vulnerable, but it was an exciting experience. I’m extremely grateful to The Magnolia Literacy Project for giving me a confidence in my writing like never before."


--Hannah Jackson

   Natchez, MS Poet

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