Tomorrow, May 15, marks the 50th anniversary of the 1970 police shooting of Black students at Jackson State College (now University) in Mississippi that left two dead and twelve wounded. Coming just eleven days after the Ohio National Guard fired on students at Kent State, the Jackson State shooting never received the same national media attention and is still largely left out of discussions of campus activism and unrest during this era.
To commemorate and reflect on this horrific event, today we’re in conversation with historian Nancy K. Bristow, author of Steeped in the Blood of Racism: Black Power, Law and Order, and the 1970 Shootings at Jackson State College.
Nancy K. Bristow is chair of the history department at the University of Puget Sound, where she teaches classes in 20th-century American history with an emphasis on race, gender, and social change. Her most recent book is Steeped in the Blood of Racism: Black Power, Law and Order and the 1970 Shootings at Jackson State College (Oxford University Press, 2020).