Clopton reflects on mother at literary luncheon


By Janice K. Neal-Vincent

Contributing Writer

Clopton              PHOTO BY JAY JOHNSON

Mary Church Terrell Literary Club, Inc., the oldest active club in the Mississippi State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, Inc., held its 14th Annual Literary Luncheon April 2, at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson.

The noon affair is an annual occurrence in conjunction with National Library Week, April 10-16. The organization adhered to the national theme, “Libraries Transform.”

Wilma E. Mosely Clopton, president and CEO of NMHS Unlimited Film Productions, was the featured speaker. The soft-spoken local author fondly recounted stories from her latest book, Jessie: One Woman, One Vision. The treatise is a biography of her mother Jessie Bryant Mosley who was a well-known community activist and founder/first director of the Smith Robertson Museum, 529 Bloom Street in Jackson.

“Jessie Mosley was a woman in her 40s in Texas at Jarvis Christian College who believed she could be whatever she wanted to be. When she came to Missississippi, she thought the black people she saw walking around were in college but discovered that they weren’t.” Discoveries such as this caused Mosley to notice race relations in the state. “So Vernon Lane Wharton’s The Negro in Mississippi became her first book,” Clopton said of her mother.

The author/filmmaker noted that incidents such as the above impacted her. She also reflected on lingering memories of her mother collecting artifacts from Mississippi.

Because of Mosley’s influence, Clopton admitted, “So I stand before you, the only daughter, still trying to make it in society.”

Continuing, the speaker recalled that Mosley was a caring person. A dear matter to her mother’s heart was, “You must care about people to be among the people to make a difference.”

The 2016 Competitive Book Stipend awards in the amount of $1500 were presented by Annie Archie to the following graduating seniors from Wingfield High School: Tyra Causey who plans to become a psychologist and was accepted to Alcorn State University, Jackson State University and Tougaloo College; Tiaria Mister who plans to become a veterinarian and attend Jackson State University.

These honor students, chosen from Jackson Public Schools on a rotating basis, have taken the ACT or SAT and have met the requirements of the award criteria established by the Mary Church Terrell Literary Club.

The literary sponsors of 2016 were: Pulitzer – The Greater Jackson Arts Council; Best Seller – Betty A. Mallet, Esq; LeRoy and Terryce N. Walker; Author – Sylvia M. Dixon; Editor – Dr. Doris O. Ginn; and Patron – William Dease.

Vivian L. Woods presented the Woman of the Year Award to Inez Morris-Chambers, retired Jackson State University chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages, for 26 years of dedication. Upon receiving the award, Morris-Chambers said, “Thank you so very much. I realize that almost any member of our club could receive this award, so it is indeed an honor.”

Mary Church Terrell Literary Club, Inc. of Jackson continues its rich legacy of civic and social services. It was organized by its founder, Mary Church Terrell, for women’s self-improvement, literary advancement and cultural pursuits of the black community. The work of the club has impacted many throughout the years.

The following intellectual giants have impacted many citizens: Cleopatra D. Thompson, Jessie Mosley, Rubye Stutts Lyells, Clarie Collins Harvey, Sarah Harvey Stevens, Excy Edwards, Mildred Williams, and Sen. Alice Varnado Harden.

Members of the Mary Church Terrell Literary Club. PHOTO BY JAY JOHNSON
Members of the Mary Church Terrell Literary Club. PHOTO BY JAY JOHNSON

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