Leah Overstreet and Karla W. Pound have been working for the past two and half years on a documentary project entitled A Portrait of Jackson Women. The project enlists audio interviews and environmental portraits of twenty exceptional Jackson women in an effort to tell their stories. Some of the women that Leah and Karla were privileged enough to interview include the late Mildred Wolfe, Ellen Douglas, Dr. Helen Barnes, Patti Carr Black, and Dorothy Moore.

Both Leah and Karla are working photographers. Leah works as a photographer and photo director in New York City.  Karla is a fine art and wedding photographer based in Jackson.Both women have encountered many longstanding misconceptions still surrounding Mississippi. Confronted with these frustrating stereotypes, Leah and Karla were driven to illuminate the reserves of talent, ingenuity, and hard work that Mississippians possess.

The project celebrates those individuals who have made and continue to make great contributions to our state through a collection of photographs and audio interviews of inspiring Mississippi women, Jackson women in particular. There are so many talented women who have contributed to our state as writers, artists, musicians, activists, educators, and humanitarians—their stories need to be shared and honored.

These women are a beacon signaling the beauty and bravery that Mississippi continues to share with the world. Stereotypes surrounding the state are directly challenged by these remarkable women, whose stories can inspire the next generation of Mississippi’s artists and changemakers.


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