Dr. Cassie Sade Turnipseed has become well known in the state of Mississippi and beyond as a historic preservationist, conducting research in all things cotton, including industries, cultural narratives, and social influences that created the world’s largest economy and one that evoked the musical tradition, known as the “Blues.” Dr. Turnipseed embraced her passion of “all things cotton” after relocating to the Mississippi Delta in 2009, to re-establish the Cultural Arts program, as Director of Cultural Arts for Mississippi Action for Community Education (MACE) in Greenville, Mississippi. Soon thereafter, she was recruited by the B. B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, in Indianola, where she became the inaugural Director of Community Outreach and Education.
Dr. Turnipseed received her Bachelor’s degree in Radio and Television Communications, from San Francisco State University; a Master of Science in Telecommunications Management, and a Master of Business Administration in International Marketing Management, from Golden Gate University. Notoriety gained through her work allowed her to receive a full scholarship from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where she obtained a Doctoral degree in Public History in May 2016, becoming the 2nd African American woman to receive a doctoral degree in history from MTSU, since its inception in 1911.
In 2017, Dr. Turnipseed was selected as IHL’s Mississippi Diversity Educator of the Year. The following year, she received a Summer Research grant from Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) to formulate what will technically become the first university-level textbook that explores the historical narratives of The Gullah Geechee [people]: Making a Way Out of No Way. Turnipseed is also compiling, "Up From the Cotton Patch-Revisited," which chronicles the institutional growth of MVSU, since its first publication. In 2019, Dr. Turnipseed is the recipient of the 2019 Mississippi Trailblazers Dr. Cindy Ayers Legacy Award. She has also been awarded substantial support for the first phase of the “Cotton Pickers Row” memorial markers project from the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors.
Dr. Turnipseed is a founding member and Executive Director of Khafre, Inc., a non-profit Mississippi-based organization whose institutional mandate is to erect a monument and establish a historic site in tribute to the Cotton Pickers of America. Turnipseed is the proprietor of the only African Art and Cultural Center in the Mississippi Delta, da'House of Khafre, located in downtown Indianola. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including NAACP, Certificate of Accomplishment, Moorhead; BOSS Lady: Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award, Grammy Museum, Cleveland; Historic Preservation Award, AKA Sorority, Mound Bayou; Community Service Tribute: Black History Spotlight, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Indianola; Youth Outreach and Cultural Learning Award, NAACP Freedom fund banquet; Governor Haley Barbour’ appointment to the Delta Regional Authority’s, Delta Leadership Institute; U.S. Congressional Honor for commitment to preserving the rich history and heritage of the Mississippi Delta, by Congressman Bennie G. Thompson.
Fundamentally, Turnipseed is a teacher of African American, American, and World History at The Mississippi Valley State University; where she is mentoring many of her students to become Public Historians. In Fall 2018, three of her students curated the largest known collection of fine art on the subject of cotton/sharecropping. Her true passion is her work with students, “If it doesn’t involve young people, it doesn’t involve me.” In essence, Turnipseed’s philosophical approach to life, teaching and overall understanding emanates from the ancient African dictate ...