Free For All – Conversations in Black Freedom Studies: The Struggle Against Racism and Repression

This month’s program marks 50 years since Stokely Carmichael galvanized the Black Power generation in June 1966; and it suggests the long road to the Black Power era with three presentations. First, Caleb Smith traces the contours of white domination back to perhaps the first African-American prison narrative from the 1800s in Jim Crow New York in The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict. Second, Aldon Morris traces the birth of modern sociology back to W.E.B. Du Bois and the Atlanta School in The Scholar Denied. And third, Aram Goudsouzian traces the dawn of the Black Power era back to the 1966 Meredith March Against Fear in Down to the Crossroads. Civil rights icon James Meredith was shot down as he began his March Against Fear, and the black freedom movement mobilized against white terror.

Schomburg Education presents this dynamic adult education program, curated by professors Jeanne Theoharis of Brooklyn College/CUNY and Komozi Woodard, of Sarah Lawrence College.


Caleb Smith is a professor of English and American Studies at Yale University and the author of The Oracle and the Curse (2013) and The Prison and the American Imagination (2009). His edition of The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict, an 1858 narrative by Austin Reed, an African American inmate of New York’s Auburn State Prison, will be released from Random House this year. Smith has written about contemporary media and the arts for Avidly, Bomb, Paper Monument, Yale Review, and other venues. He is a contributing editor at Los Angeles Review of Books and a co-editor of No Crisis, an LARB special series on the state of criticism in the 21st century.

Aldon Morris, Ph.D., is a Leon Forrest professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Areas of interest include social movements, theory, sociology of W.E.B. Du Bois, the civil rights movement, race, religion, social inequality and political sociology. His book, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, which received several prizes including the American Sociological Association Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award, emphasizes the organizational and cultural basis of social protest. His current research extends that analysis to subsequent decades and regions in the U.S. He is co-editor of Frontiers in Social Movement Theory. Morris is also co-editor with Jane Mansbridge of Oppositional Consciousness: The Subjective Roots of Social Protest. Morris has published numerous articles covering his major areas of interests.

Aram Goudsouzian is the author of Down to the Crossroads, and the chair of the History Department at the University of Memphis, where he has taught courses on the civil rights movement, the modern United States, and the history of American sports, as well as survey courses on African American History and the United States Since 1877. Before becoming chair, he was the director of the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities. Along with Randy Roberts, he is the editor of the “Sport and Society” series published by the University of Illinois Press.

Thursday, June 2, 2016, 6 – 8 pm
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
Langston Hughes Auditorium

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