“Free-Market Activists and School Desegregation”
Suppose that something long understood as an ending was really a beginning. What if the white South’s massive resistance to the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision proved to be not just the death rattle of Jim Crow, but also the dawn of free-market fundamentalism in practice? In this James & Marguerite Hutchins lecture, Historian Nancy MacLean reveals how northern advocates of neoliberalism–the push to dismantle popular reforms of the New Deal and the Progressive Era–rallied to the segregationist call for private schools subsidized by the states, with the economist Milton Friedman in the lead.
Nancy MacLean is William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and Director of the Center for the Study of Class, Labor, and Social Sustainability. She is the award-winning author of Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace (Harvard UP); Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan (Oxford UP); The American Women’s Movement, 1945-2000 (Bedford/St Martins); and, with Donald T. Critchlow, Debating the American Conservative Movement: 1945 to the Present (Rowman & Littlefield). Her latest book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, will be published by Viking/Penguin in the spring of 2017.
This lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the University Room at Hyde Hall. Light refreshments will be served.
Award-winning poet, author, and creative writing professor Joseph Bathanti will deliver the 2016 Charleston Lecture in Southern Affairs, titled “Alma Stone Williams: Black Mountain College’s First Black Student.” This lecture will be held in the Pleasants Room in Wilson Library.
In 1944, Alma Stone Williams, an African American musician from Atlanta, Georgia, attended Black Mountain College for its eleven-week summer session. She already held degrees from Atlanta University and Spelman College (where she had graduated as valedictorian), but that summer she became the first black student to attend Black Mountain College. This occurred ten years before Brown vs. Board of Education and twelve years before Autherine Lucy, another African American woman, matriculated in 1956 at the University of Alabama for a mere three days. While Lucy is generally credited as the first African American student to attend an all-white college in the Jim Crow South, it appears that Williams initially cracked that barrier. After Black Mountain College, Williams attended Julliard on a Rosenwald Fellowship, then launched a distinguished career as a musician, professor, and community leader. For a woman of her singular importance, over a broad spectrum of disciplines–including African American Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, and Women’s Studies–she has often been overlooked and remains a well-kept secret.
Joseph Bathanti teaches English and Creative Writing at Appalachian State University. He is the author of nine poetry collections, three novels, a short story collection, and a book of nonfiction essays, and he served as Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 2012-2014. Among many other honors, he has twice received the Roanoke Chowan Prize, awarded by the NC Literary & Historical Association for the best book of poetry in a given year. His latest collection, The Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost, was recently published by LSU Press.
Join us in the Hitchcock Room at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center as we welcome Monique Truong back to the Old North State. Her lecture is titled “Writing Plenty / Writing Hunger / Writing North Carolina.” The talk will begin with Truong’s first meal in the U.S., eaten in a refugee relocation camp in 1975, and will explore the “magical thinking” relationship that she formed toward food during her girlhood in Boiling Springs, NC.
Born in Saigon, South Vietnam in 1968, Monique Truong is a novelist and essayist based in Brooklyn. She is the author of the national bestseller The Book of Salt (2003) and Bitter in the Mouth (2010). Her novel The Sweetest Fruits is forthcoming from Viking Books. Translated into 14 languages, her novels have garnered her a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, among other honors. She is currently the Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College, CUNY. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law, Truong is also an intellectual property attorney.
She is also a contributor to the forthcoming 21C Fiction Issue of Southern Cultures, which you can preview here.
This lecture is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, the Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Carolina Asia Center, the Center for Global Initiatives, the Institute for Arts and Humanities, the Food For All campus theme, and Southern Cultures, as well as UNC Libraries’ North Carolina Collection and Southern Historical Collection.
“Manners, Memory, and Murder in America’s Holy City”
Sometimes called the “Holy City,” Charleston, South Carolina is one of America’s oldest and most historic cities. It has won numerous awards for its residents’ politeness, and it has been chosen as a top destination for world travelers. However, the nation was shocked by the racially motivated murders that occurred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the summer of 2015. The reverberations of this tragic event were felt most powerfully across the South, where they amplified ongoing and crucial debates about the region’s understanding of history, memory, and race. In this lecture, Powers will examine the meaning of what happened in Charleston, the cultural introspection it triggered, and its ongoing significance for understanding life in the South today.
Bernard E. Powers, Professor of History at the College of Charleston, has published numerous works on African American social and cultural evolution. His book Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822-1885 (University of Arkansas Press, 1994) won a Choice Award for Best Academic Books. Powers also served as associate editor for The South Carolina Encyclopedia (Columbia: USC Press, 2006), and he recently co-authored We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel (Thomas Nelson, 2016).
This lecture, to be held in the Pleasants Family Room at Wilson Library, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.