It’s A New Day In Yesterday’s Mississippi: Cassie Sade Turnipseed Rising

Rose Davis
July 26, 2023

Whole mankind awaits societal change and adjusts to evolutionary advances the Great Experiment continues.

Our Democracy stands and is patiently waiting as World Stage sets up for the next act in human evolution.

Waiting in the wings to take center stage are an army of well educated, exuberant civic minded technical savvy. Democracy loving and politically astute newly minted politicians eager to advance humanity.

What a better place to start than the rural south? And what better candidate to get things rolling than Cassie Turnipseed.

Blazing the trail illuminated by Ida B. Wells and a cadre of brave, freedom fighting Women of Color journalists who utilized our First Amendment to fight for social justice and equality for all freedom loving people. Turnipseed is sprouting. The first order of business will be to steer our democratic ship back on course away from mediocrity and authoritarianism toward the beckoning light of the Drinking Gourd. She will be guided by the Indigenous Wisdom of the Ancestors.

Dr. Cassie Sade Turnipseed is a Public Historian (historic preservationist), who is continually conducting research on cultural narratives, and the significant social influences that created the world’s largest economy that evoked musical traditions, e.g., the “blues,” spirituals, country, jazz, soul, and hip-hop … “all things cotton.”

Turnipseed is currently a candidate for Mississippi’s House of Representatives, District 31. She is a professor of Public History at Jackson State University and occasionally serves as an adjunct professor at Mississippi Valley State University. Her true passion is her work with the youth. She often states, “If it doesn't involve young people, it doesn't involve me.”

C. Sade Turnipseed, MBA, MA, PhD

Candidate for MS State Rep. District #31

Khafre, Inc., Executive Director


Cassie Sade Turnipseed; MS/MBA/PhD 

Cassie Sade Turnipseed was born into a family of nine siblings all with deep Mississippi roots. Both parents Mr. Jim Theodore Turnipseed & Mrs. Bonnie Lou Thompson-Turnipseed were born and raised in Choctaw County, Mississippi. Dr. Turnipseed obtained a BA in Radio and Television/Mass Communications, from San Francisco State University; a MS in Telecommunications Business Management, and an MBA in International Business and Marketing Management, both from Golden Gate University, in San Francisco. She relocated to the Mississippi Delta in 2009, to re-establish the Cultural Arts program, for Mississippi Action for Community Education (MACE), in Greenville, MS. as Director of Cultural Arts She was soon actively recruited by the folks at B. B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, in Indianola, where she became the inaugural Director of Community Outreach and Education. After serving in that capacity for three years, Turnipseed’s was selected and granted full scholarship to attend Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). She earned her PhD in Public History, from MTSU in 2016. Now, Dr. C Sade Turnipseed became the 2nd African American woman to receive a doctorate from MTSU, since its inception in 1911. This is where Turnipseed’s passion for the history of “all things cotton,” its industries, its cultural narratives, its social and economic influences was finetuned by the realization that cotton was the essential factor, which created the world’s largest economy; and one that evoked the “Blues” in America.

One year after receiving her PhD, Turnipseed became Mississippi’s Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) 2017 Diversity Educator of the Year. The following year, she received a Summer Research grant from Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) to formally study the historical narratives of The Gullah Geechee [people] of along the Gullah Geechee Corridor. The research will produce the first university-level textbook that explores the concept of Making a Way Out of No Way providing scholarly insight into the Gullah Geechee culture and their significance to American history. Turnipseed is also the chief editor of the team compiling research for the manuscript entitled, "Up From the Cotton Fields-Revisited," which chronicles the institutional growth of MVSU. University Press of Mississippi has expressed interest in publishing both publications. 

Turnipseed’s newly released anthology “Field Hollers and Freedom Songs” was published by Vernon Press headquartered in Wilmington, DE, December 2022. This publication chronicles the scholarship by scholars, poets, and student participation in the annual Sweat Equity Investment in the Cotton Kingdom Symposium held annually on the MVSU campus to document the historical contributions of “grand-mama’nem.”

As founder of the Mississippi-based non-profit Khafre, Inc, Turnipseed works passionately to advance the mandate of their inaugural Honorary Chairs Dr Maya Angelou and Dr B.B. King, to honor the legacy of Cotton Pickers in the Cotton Kingdom of America. Their charge is to build a series of monuments along a historic preservation trail that honors the narrative of Sharecroppers and Cotton Pickers and their sweat equity investment and spiritual contributions that made America great. 

Under the direct leadership of Dr Turnipseed, Khafre, Inc, MVSU history students and the Sunflower County of Mississippi’s Board of Supervisors erected their first historical marker to a Cotton Picker in 2020. The historical marker is in tribute to Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer; and is permanently situated in front of the Sunflower County Courthouse, where she took her historic stance for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which legislated that all Americans indeed do have the right to vote. 

Turnipseed ran an impressive two-week campaign in the 2013 Indianola mayoral race against the democratic incumbent. She was an Independent candidate and ... received 43% of the vote in the general election. She achieved these impressive numbers, while a PhD student at MTSU. 

On October 23, 2012, Turnipseed received a US Congressional Honor by Congressman Bennie G Thompson, for her commitment to preserving the rich history and heritage of the Mississippi Delta. Turnipseed also received accolades from the NAACP with a Youth Outreach and Cultural Learning Award, in 2012. In addition, in 2008, Governor Haley Barbour selected Turnipseed as one of three Fellows, for the Delta Regional Authority’s, Delta Leadership Institute. 

For over eleven (11) years, Turnipseed hosted and produced the number one locally generated talk show in the Mississippi Delta, The Delta Renaissance. Nowadays, she spends her spare time producing and hosting the weekly podcast “All Things Juneteenth”—a Juneteenth 101 educational lecture series.

Dr. Turnipseed has indeed become a highly acclaimed and celebrated public historian. She is widely respected throughout the state of Mississippi as well as the Caribbean and in several countries in Africa. Currently, Turnipseed teaches Public, African, Native American, and World Histories at Jackson State University and serves as an adjunct professor at The Mississippi Valley State University; and works as a consultant for Hinds Community College, Utica. 

“My passion is my teaching about “grand-mama’nem,” especially to young and older students … But, if it does not involve young people in some way, it does not involve me.” 

In essence, Professor Turnipseed’s philosophical approach to life, education, and general understanding emanates from the ancient Kemetic dictate ... KNOW THYSELF! • 662.347.8198