- Eyes on Mississippi: A Fifty-Year Chronicle of Change 1991
- many, many articles for the Clarion Ledger
By Hanna McIlwain (SHS)
Political journalist Bill (Wilson F. ) Minor was born in Hammond, Louisiana, in 1922. He grew up in southeast Louisiana and graduated from Tulane University in 1943 with a degree in journalism. Following World War II, this naval combat veteran joined the staff of the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. In August 1947, he was assigned as the newspaper’s Mississippi correspondent in Jackson, Mississippi. Covering the civil rights era and a wide variety of other major news stories, Minor held this position for thirty years, and it ended only when the Times-Picayune closed the Mississippi office. He retired from the paper in 1976. Since his retirement, he remains in Jackson and has launched a new career as a statewide political columnist for the ClarionLedger, a position which he today still holds. (Minor 353).
Bill Minor has followed Mississippi political and social life for more than sixty years. He has put himself in harm’s way many times to witness firsthand and report in vivid and clear words the truth regardless of the consequences to himself (Douglas 3G). Minor still lives in Jackson, Mississippi, and writes many columns concerning major news stories and issues.
Minor has won many awards. In 1966 the Louis Lyons Award given by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University was given to him for “conscience and integrity in journalism.” In 1997 Minor became the first recipient of the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism presented by the Annenberg School for Communications of Pennsylvania, and in 1991 he joined the Hall of Fame of the Mississippi Press Association (Minor 353). Minor was inducted in 1991 into the Mississippi Press Association Hall of Fame. At the age of 93 he is still writing his column for the ClarionLedger.
A Review of Eyes on Mississippi: A Fifty-Year Chronicle of Change
By Hanna McIlwain (SHS)
Eyes on Mississippi: A Fifty-year Chronicle of Change, 1991, should be found fascinating to everyone interested inTwentieth-Century American history. Bill Minor’s novel went on sale in late May, 1991, in book stores around the state of Mississippi. Minor used some 200 of his columns and news articles in this non-fiction work. This book includes some of Mississippi’s biggest civil rights stories, such as the 1955 acquittal of two white men accused of killing black man Emmett Till for whistling at a white woman, the 1962 integration of the University of Mississippi, the 1963 assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers in Jackson, and the 1962 Freedom Summer slayings of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County. This book will remind the reader of all the progress we have made in Mississippi and how much more there is left to do (Minor ix-x). It chronicles changes in race relations from the increase in black voter registrations to the unraveling of the Sovereignty Commission, a state spy agency devoted to preserving segregation. The columns in this book are sorted out by subject rather than chronology.
Many people have different opinions of Minor’s book. William F. Winter said, “This volume is an intriguing collection of journalistic vignettes of personalities and events that transformed a state and made its history over the last half-century one of the most absorbing sagas of American life”(Minor ix-x). Ellen Douglas said, “Its importance brings to me to my only major criticism. In any future edition, I would like to see a complete index as well as a more detailed context surrounding the events covered in the columns. We tend, although at the time they seemed indelibly impressed on our memories, to forget those tumultuous times. We need to remind ourselves of the surrounding events if we hope to avoid falling into the same mistakes and bringing about like tragedies” (Douglas 3G). I think that it is a great book for people who lived through these events or who are interested in the history of Mississippi.
Bill Minor has dedicated parts of his book to different people. He dedicated a column to the selection in 1987 of the first black Miss. Mississippi, Toni Seawright. Minor dedicated the entire work to “My long-suffering wife Gloria, the three Minor sons, and all the ‘little people’ who helped my fathom what took place in this fathomless state the last half-century (Minor ix-x).
- Bill Minor turns 90 in 2012 and party for him attended by many.
- Minor comments on his son’s prosecution by corrupt DOJ, according to democraticunderground.com
- Sampling History: Bill Minor a hero of Mississippi Journalism by Joanne Anderson
- Six Decades of Watching Mississippi—Starting in 1947 by Bill Minor
- Read an interview between Terrence Smith of PBS’s Newshour and Bill Minor. Minor discusses the shift in attitudes he’s seen in the Jackson and The Clarion-Ledger since the Civil Rights Struggle.
- Bill Minor writes Opinion in ClarionLedger
- Terence Smith talks with Myrlie Evers-Williams,Bill Minor, and Jerry Mitchell as he reports on how The ClarionLedger newspaper of Jackson, Miss. prompted the reinvestigation of more than a dozen civil rights-era crimes.
- Bill Minor’s Forty-Five Years of Progressive Journalism. Southern Changes website.
- Wagster,Emily. “Columnist’s book reflects on half century of change.” Clarion Ledger 10 Jan. 2002: 12
- Douglas, Ellen. “’Eyes’ carries column collection.” The Clarion Ledger 17 June 2001: 3G
- Minor, Bill. Eyes on Mississippi: A Fifty-Year Chronicle of Change. J Prichard Morris Books: Jackson, Mississippi, 2001. intro and ix-x