David Magee is the author of The Education of Mr. Mayfield: An Unusual Story of Social Change at Ole Miss. He will sign copies of his book at Rock Point Books in Chattanooga on Thursday, Sept. 17th at 7 p.m.
About the Book…
In 1949, soon after arriving in Oxford, Mississippi, as the school’s first Art Department chairman, Stuart Purser was driving through the nearby countryside when he spied some interesting sculptures on the front porch of a small farmhouse near Ecru. When Purser stopped to speak with the African-American artist, his longtime friendship with M.B. Mayfield began.
That fall, Purser offered Mayfield a job as custodian for the Art Department and caretaker for the newly opened student art gallery. This was a time when the University of Mississippi was completely segregated. What few outside the Art Department knew was that Purser also gave Mayfield one-on-one instruction and arranged for classroom doors to be left open so Mayfield could listen to lectures while sitting in the nearby broom closet. Later, Purser took Mayfield on his lecture trips, passing Mayfield off as an assistant who carted equipment and set up the projector.
The Education of Mr. Mayfield tells the story of how M.B. Mayfield overcame many of the obstacles placed in his way due to racism, but it also tells of the quiet acts of courage displayed by some white Southerners who found ways to defy the injustices of the time and place.
About the Author…
David Magee is the author of twelve books. His book Turnaround, about Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan was published in seven languages and has sold almost 100,000 copies worldwide. In 1996, Magee became the youngest-ever elected member of the Oxford, Mississippi, city council. He is also a co-owner of Rock Point Books and the founder of Jefferson Press. He lives on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.