UTICA – Hinds Community College Humanities chair Dr. Bobby Cooper will deliver a presentation entitled “Performing Jubilee: The History and Legacy of the Utica Jubilee Singers” as part of an ongoing National Endowment for the Humanities grant at Hinds’ Utica Campus.web_Bobby Cooper

This is the third public talk in the Holtzclaw Lecture Series, “The Black Man’s Burden: William H. Holtzclaw and the Mississippi HBCU Connection,” which is designed to bring nationally recognized scholars and experts on African American education in the South for public lectures in a variety of venues around the state.

Dr. Cooper’s talk will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11. The lecture will take place in the Auditorium of the Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center on the Hinds Community College-Utica Campus.

He will discuss the history and legacy of the Jubilee Singers, from its founding in the early years of the institution where the group accompanied Utica’s founder, William Holtzclaw, on fundraising trips to northern donors to its revival in the 1970s under Dr. Cooper’s direction. The talk will provide an in-depth overview of the music program on the Utica campus, paired with selections from the Jubilee’s extensive repertoire.

Dr. Bobby Cooper is the Humanities division chair, instructor of music and choral director on the Hinds-Utica campus. He has taught at the institution for 43 years and is currently the longest serving employee in the Hinds district. Dr. Cooper received degrees from Tougaloo College, the University of Illinois and the University of Colorado, as well as additional study at Chicago Music College.

Dr. Bobby G. Cooper directs the Jubilee Singers.

Dr. Bobby G. Cooper directs the Jubilee Singers.

During his illustrious teaching career, Cooper has received many awards including the Lifetime of Excellence Teaching Award, William Winter Scholar, Hinds Hero Award, and Humanities Teacher of the Year recognition. Dr. Cooper is also a long serving minister of music at Asbury United Methodist Church in Bolton and organist at Pratt United Methodist Church in Jackson.

“Black Man’s Burden: William Holtzclaw and the Mississippi HBCU Connection” is a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to highlight the work of William Holtzclaw, a pioneer in African American education. The project will contribute to a growing body of research and interest in the “Little Tuskegees” as important forerunners of the Civil Rights Era in the Deep South. William Holtzclaw is the founder of the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute, which later became Utica Junior College, and is now Hinds Community College-Utica.

This two-year research program is designed to equip faculty and student-scholars to explore themes in Holtzclaw’s writing in humanities courses, combined with the development of a Summer Teachers’ Institute and teaching resource kit that will be used by other institutions (both on the high school and community college level) to extend the work beyond the institution.

[tweetable alt=””]Jubilee Singers director to give latest in Holtzclaw Lecture Series[/tweetable]


Hinds Community College is celebrating its 100th year of Community Inspired Service in 2017. Hinds opened in September 1917 first as an agricultural high school and admitted college students for the first time in 1922, with the first class graduating in 1927. In 1982 Hinds Junior College and Utica Junior College merged, creating the Hinds Community College District. Today, as Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution with six locations. Hinds offers quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

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