by Enid Doggett
The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi’s 19th annual Crystal Ball awarded its Star of Hope honor to award-winning journalist and novelist Jesse J. Holland. The awards ceremony took place in January at the Arena in Southaven.
Holland is a native of Holly Springs and was editor of the Daily Mississippian as a student at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of the first novel commissioned by Marvel Entertainment and featuring the popular superhero, The Black Panther, and the award-winning books, “The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slavery Inside the White House,” “Black Men Built the Capitol: Discovering African American History in and Around Washington, D.C.,” and the author of the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Finn’s Story.”
Holland is a reporter and the former president of the Washington Press Club Foundation. He was the first African American ever elected to the Congressional Standing Committee of correspondents, a congressionally created committee of journalists. He is also a member of the National Press Club and one of the creators of the former newspaper comic strip, Hippie and the Black Guy.
Previous recipients of the Star of Hope award include Morgan Freeman, Archie and Olivia Manning, Sen. Thad Cochran, Sela Ward, Marty Stuart and others who give hope to their fellow Mississippians.
Proceeds from the event help the Community Foundation aid over 700 charitable programs in Northwest Mississippi.