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Panel Discussion: From George Wallace to New Orleans After Katrina: Southern Race and Politics on Film

wallacejacksonPlease join us in the Freedom Forum on Tuesday, November 18 at 4:30 pm for a panel discussion, using documentary films as the starting point for a larger conversation about how race relations have unfolded in Southern politics. Sharing clips from their own work, our guests will engage the legacies of African Americans who directly challenged Jim Crow, the white segregationists who resisted those challenges, and political actors of all races and approaches. The panelists will explore what has and has not changed in this country’s reckoning with civil rights and racial equality.

panelistsThis panel, moderated by Malinda Maynor Lowery (Director, Southern Oral History Program, UNC-Chapel Hill), is co-sponsored by the Southern Oral History Program, the Southern Documentary Fund, and Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.

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Film Screening: Getting Back to Abnormal, Full Frame Theater, Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 pm

Join us at the Full Frame Theater in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus for a provocative exploration of Southern race and politics on film, followed by a Q&A with Producer/Director Paul Stekler.

abnormalstillNew Orleans’ long history of political dysfunction and complicated racial dynamics gets a new lease on life when Stacy Head, a polarizing white woman, wins a seat on the city council after the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Four years later, she needs black votes to get reelected. But will her record of blunt racial talk doom her chances? GETTING BACK TO ABNORMAL follows the unlikely odd couple of Head and her irrepressible black political advisor, Barbara Lacen-Keller, as they try to navigate New Orleans’ treacherous political scene. With its cast of only-in-New-Orleans characters, Getting Back to Abnormal is a provocative and amusing look at race in America, set against the backdrop of the city’s rich culture. The film had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival and was nationally broadcast on the PBS series POV in August 2014. You can view a behind-the-scenes discussion between the producers about portraying New Orleans on film here.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Southern Oral History Program, the Southern Documentary Fund, and Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.

Songs from the Struggle: An Evening of Music with Mary D. Williams, Tuesday, October 14

MWilliamsJoin us at Chapel Hill Public Library as we welcome acclaimed gospel singer Mrs. Mary D. Williams for an educational evening of performance and participation.  Mrs. Williams, recognized as one of the best gospel singers in the country, will sing protest songs from the Civil Rights Era and examine their connections to the Slavery Era and the Negro spirituals of that time.  Mary will ask the audience to participate as she teaches how to sing the songs and how to use music to understand our shared history.

Mary has traveled to more than 40 colleges and universities, more than 30 public schools, over 100 churches, a dozen libraries, and seven public school teachers’ institutes, offering week-long training sessions for teachers. She has taught, along with friend and colleague Dr. Timothy B. Tyson, a community-based college course, “The South in Black and White: History, Culture and Politics in the 20th Century South,” for the past six years. She currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies.

Tuesday, October 14, 7:00 pm
Chapel Hill Public Library, Meeting Room B

Hutchins Lecture: Rebecca J. Scott, Tuesday, October 14 at 4:30 pm

rebecca scottProfessor Scott’s Hutchins Lecture, titled “Tracing Atlantic Revolutions: One Family’s Itinerary,” will address the research that went into her recent book Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation (Harvard UP, 2012; paperback, August 2014), which traces one family’s interaction with law and official documents across five generations.  The story begins in West Africa with the enslavement of a woman named Rosalie, then follows her to the French Caribbean at the time of the Haitian Revolution. Rosalie’s daughter Elisabeth later settled in Louisiana, but in the face of hostility to free persons of color, the family migrated to France. Two of Elisabeth’s sons then returned to Louisiana to become equal-rights activists during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Piecing together this family’s history helps to place Reconstruction in the southern United States into a transnational perspective, with threads continuing into 20th-century Europe. This lecture will be held at the Pleasants Room in UNC’s Wilson Library.

Rebecca J. Scott is the Charles Gibson Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. At the Law School, she teaches a course on civil rights and the boundaries of citizenship in historical perspective, as well as a seminar on the law in slavery and freedom. Freedom Papers has been awarded the 2012 Albert Beveridge Book Award in American History and the James Rawley Book Prize in Atlantic History, both from the American Historical Association. The book also has been awarded the 2013 Chinard Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies and the Institut Français d’Amerique. Scott received an AB from Radcliffe College, an MPhil in economic history from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in history from Princeton University. She has held the Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Music on the Porch: Joe Troop & Diego Sánchez, Thursday, October 9 at 5:30 pm

Troop & Sanchez tourWhen self-described “North Carolina-born banjoist, fiddler, singer-songwriter and nomad” Joe Troop graduated from UNC and moved to Buenos Aires, says his bandmate Diego Sánchez, “he ruined everything.” Before that, Sánchez had claimed to be “the only banjo player in Argentina.”

Now the acoustic world-music duo is returning stateside for their first U.S. tour, funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign. Join us on the porch at the Love House for a blend of traditional North Carolina and Latin American music, inspired at Carolina and perfected 5,000 miles away. This event is free and open to the public. Bring a picnic blanket and stay for a while!!