2006 Regular Session
By: Representative Whittington, Perkins, Clarke, Brown, Buck, Clark, Coleman (29th), Holland, Holloway, Howell, Huddleston, Johnson, Reynolds, Robinson (63rd), Straughter, Thomas, Watson
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE OF A GREAT PLAYWRIGHT AND TEACHER, ENDESHA IDA MAE HOLLAND, AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE MISSISSIPPI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES UPON HER PASSING.
WHEREAS, the world lost a great literary artist when playwright and teacher, Endesha Ida Mae Holland, passed this life on January 25, 2006, while she slept; and
WHEREAS, Mrs. Holland was an award-winning dramatist whose play, "From the Mississippi Delta," was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and
WHEREAS, although she was a high school dropout, she was determined to earn a high school equivalency, enter college and earn a doctorate and she did all of these things within a span of 20 years; and
WHEREAS, during her life, she taught American studies at the State University of New York and in Los Angeles, where she was professor emeritus at the University of Southern California's School of Theatre; and
WHEREAS, Mrs. Holland has been honored by many organizations during her life including the 1993 Finalist Award; the Fifteenth Annual Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an International Yearly Award for "Parader Without a Permit"; the Western New York Region Martin Luther King, Jr., Commission-Life Achievement Award; the 1992 Eighth National Conference Oni Award from the International Black Women's Congress; the Black Women's Forum, Inc., Award for outstanding academic and creative achievement sponsored by United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 29th District, Los Angeles; the Buffalo News 43rd Annual Citizens of the Year Award; and many other awards; and
WHEREAS, to cherish her memory, she is survived by her son, Cedric Holland; a sister, Jean Beasley; and granddaughter, all of Buffalo, New York; and a brother, Charlie "Bud" Nellums, of Greenwood, Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, in spite of suffering from ataxia, a degenerative neurological disease, she continued to teach, produce, write and perform her work; and
WHEREAS, Mrs. Holland's fascinating literary works contain pieces of her life while growing up with social difficulties, being raised by a midwife mother who died in a house fire set by the Ku Klux Klan, her own rape at the age of 11, her teenage prostitution and her eventual involvement with the 1960s civil rights movement which changed her life; and
WHEREAS, in spite of her many childhood struggles, Mrs. Holland was also very active in the civil rights movement as a child and was one of the first civil rights workers from Greenwood who joined the movement with Bob Moses, Willie Peacock, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King and Stokley Carmichael; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and commend excellence:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the life of a great playwright and teacher, Endesha Ida Mae Holland, and express deepest sympathy upon her passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of Endesha Ida Mae Holland and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.