Former alumnus and editor of the Daily Mississippian Jesse Holland spoke at the Overby Center on February 25, 2016. He will return this Friday to speak at 5:30 p.m. at the Overby Center.
Holland is a journalism graduate at Ole Miss and one of the former editors of the Daily Mississippian. He is also a native of Holly Springs, Mississippi – a half-hour drive from Oxford.
He always knew he had a passion for writing, but didn’t discover his true abilities until after he was recruited by Dr. Will Norton Jr., professor and dean of the Meek School of Journalism.
During his first year at Ole Miss, he was hired by The Oxford EAGLE. He soon worked for the Daily Mississippian where he became its editor-in-chief. After assuming an editorial position for the campus newspaper, he worked for the Birmingham Post Harold. Two semesters later, he interned for The New York Times.
While traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, he took the Associated Press test in Jackson, Mississippi. He did well and was offered an internship for the Associated Press in South Carolina.
“I just so happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Holland said.
During his journalism career, Holland covered Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign, Bill Clinton’s presidency and George Bush’s presidency. His experience in covering the White House politics led to two publications that intertwine the White House and its history with the African-Americans.
Holland is the author of ‘Black Men Built the Capitol: Discovering African-American History In and Around Washington,’ and ‘The Invisibles: The Untold Stories of African American Slaves in the White House.’ The books tell stories on the history of presidency, slaves, and politics. According to Holland, the first book is about the slaves and the second book is about the domestics in the White House.
Holland is planning a third book which will be geared toward Mississippi.
“With history, you’re always learning something new,” he said.
Many Ole Miss journalism students like Conner Mounger attended his speaking event at the Overby Center.
“I thought it would be interesting to hear him speak,” Mounger said. “I learned that even if it’s not written in the book, it still may not be true.”
Mounger says the most efficient way to find out the truth is to go out and learn the knowledge for yourself.
For those who wish to listen to Jesse Holland and participate in a discussion, the author will be speaking again at the Overby Center this Friday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m.
Christopher Neal Jr. is a HottyToddy.com intern. He can be reached at email@example.com.