Literacy Shapers is an initiative that       recognizes professional writers, artists, and other influencers who use their platforms to send meaningful messages while making a difference in Mississippi. Click below to see related publications.

Literacy Shapers Blog

Reshonda Perryman,

Visual Artist

Fayette, MS

“Everyone has insecurities. Every place has its flaws. But in my art, I have full control over my narrative as a Mississippian. No one gets that privilege but me.”

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Lana Brown,

Poet & Educator,

Natchez, MS

"I’m from long thick vines that carried me across a deep, dark creek and muscadines that stung my lips and made weary tree limbs hang." 

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Randrika Henderson,

Writer & Educator

Canton, MS

"My HBCU experience [at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS] taught me that our heritage is rooted in surviving adversities; making the impossible, possible; and building upon the foundation established by our ancestors."

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Jone Primm,

Community Activist

Owner of Marshall's Music and Bookstore

Jackson, MS

Minneapolis, Minnesota Native

“I come from a long line of people concerned with the plight of our [Black] people. My roots are in Utica, Mississippi, where my great-grandmother founded a church school and burial ground after having been enslaved.”

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Dr. J. Janice Coleman,

Quilter, Writer, & Educator

Mound Bayou, MS

“I think I started sewing quilts in the womb since quilting was just a part of everyday life in my world, and fabric scraps were so plentiful. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, which turned into a lifelong passion.”

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LaWanda Dickens,

Writer & Educator

Brookhaven, MS

"My grandfather survived the Great Depression; racism during some of the most traumatizing eras; a world war; and other blistering life circumstances. He was educated at Fisk, Tuskegee Institute; & Jackson State University. He was a science teacher, school administrator, and farmer. He purchased 100 acres of land, some of which he plowed with a tractor that he made himself. He hustled -- hard. His blood flows through my veins."

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