Jan
27
Wed
SouthTalks: “Nonviolence Before King: The Politics of Being and the Black Freedom Struggle” @ Online
Jan 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

In early 1960 Black students across the nation launched nonviolent direct-action campaigns in more than seventy cities across the nation, challenging Jim Crow segregation and violence. These students took courageous action knowing they would face arrest, expulsion, or even lose their lives. So why did they do it? Anthony Siracusa argues that the political philosophy of religious nonviolence was a key motivation for many. Siracusa excavates the history of this idea in his forthcoming book, Nonviolence Before King: The Politics of Being and the Black Freedom Struggle, and explains how what he calls a “politics of being” came to occupy a central place in the Black freedom struggle.

The bus that was firebombed during the Freedom Rides of 1961 in Anniston, Alabama.

A historian of modern America and a civic engagement professional in higher education, Anthony Siracusa works at the intersection of the community and the academy. He has written extensively about nonviolence and the Black freedom movement, and his first book, Nonviolence Before King: The Politics of Being and the Black Freedom Struggle, will be released by UNC Press in June 2021. He teaches a variety of courses on African American history, religion, and politics in addition to community-based learning courses. He also develops and administers projects and programs in partnership with communities beyond the campus to enhance student learning and strengthen community impacts. Siracusa is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, and lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.

Feb
11
Thu
SouthTalks: “Protests in Pro Football, 1965–2020” @ Online
Feb 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Chuck Ross’s “Protests in Pro Football, 1965–2020” talk examines both the events leading up to the 1965 American Football League All-Star game protest and the events that led to Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 NFL protest. Ross will also discuss the legacy of Kaepernick’s actions in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the different responses by professional sports leagues and teams in America.

Chuck Ross is a native of Columbus, Ohio, and currently is professor of history and African American studies at the University of Mississippi. He holds a B.A. in history from Stillman College. He has an M.A. in Black studies, an M.A. in history, and a Ph.D. in history, each from The Ohio State University. He is the author of, Mavericks, Money, and Men: The AFL, Black Players, and the Evolution of Modern Football, which was published by Temple University Press in 2016, and Outside the Lines: African Americans and the Integration of the National Football League, which was released by New York University Press in 1999. His teaching interests include twentieth-century US history, African American history, and sports history. He has appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines and on ESPN Radio.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.

Feb
17
Wed
SouthTalks: “Masked Man, Black: Pandemic and Protest Poems” @ Online
Feb 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Frank X Walker

Frank X Walker will read from and discuss his latest collection of poems, Masked Man, Black: Pandemic and Protest Poems. The poems document in real time the myriad of challenges presented by the multiple pandemics of Covid-19 and racial injustice. They also offer edifying pockets of solace as the poet shares his family’s survival tips, strategies, and discoveries in midst of so much loss, while properly laying blame at the feet of the administration that unnecessarily politicized, misled, and further complicated this country’s response to the virus. University of Mississippi associate professor of English and African American studies Derrick Harriell will facilitate the Q&A portion of this event.

Frank X Walker is the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate. He has published eleven collections of poetry, including Masked Man, Black: Pandemic and Protest Poems and Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, which was awarded the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Poetry and the Black Caucus American Library Association Honor Award for Poetry. Voted one of the most creative professors in the South, Walker coined the term “Affrilachia” and cofounded the Affrilachian Poets. He is the founding editor of pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture and serves as professor of English and African American and Africana studies at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Derrick Harriell is the Otillie Schillig Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. His poem collections are Cotton (2010), Ropes (2013, winner of the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award in poetry), and Stripper in Wonderland (2017). His poems, stories, and essays have been published widely.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.

Feb
24
Wed
SouthTalks: “The Emmett Till Generation: Youth Activism, Radical Protest, and Social Change in Jim Crow Mississippi” @ Online
Feb 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Daphne Chamberlain’s talk highlights the role of children as leaders and participants in the Mississippi civil rights movement between 1946 and 1965. This presentation also offers a new perspective on the origins of the civil rights struggle and gives credence to how instrumental young people were to engaging in radical protest and grassroots activism in Mississippi.

Chamberlain completed her undergraduate studies at Tougaloo College in 2001 and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Mississippi. Before returning to Tougaloo as a faculty member, Chamberlain was the founding director of the COFO Civil Rights Education Center at Jackson State University. In 2013 Chamberlain returned to Tougaloo College, where she is an associate professor of history and the associate provost and vice president for academic affairs.

This event is sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.

Mar
3
Wed
SouthTalks: “White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America” @ Online
Mar 3 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

American children are living in a world of ongoing public debates about race, daily displays of racial violence, and for some, an increased awareness of inequality. Based on two years of ethnographic research with affluent white kids and their families, Margaret A. Hagerman’s talk examines how white kids learn about race, racism, inequality, and privilege in the contexts of their everyday lives. This talk explores how white racial socialization is a process that stretches beyond white parents’ explicit conversations with their white children and includes not only the choices parents make about neighborhoods, schools, peer groups, extracurricular activities, and media, but also the choices made by the kids themselves.

Margaret A. Hagerman is an associate professor of sociology at Mississippi State University and is a faculty affiliate in the African American studies and gender studies programs there. She is the author of White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America (2019), and she is a nationally recognized expert on white racial socialization. Her research can be found in publications such as the Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and Ethnic and Racial Studies, among others. She has visited a number of schools and communities across the country to share her work with parents, teachers, neighborhood associations, school administrators, and young people.

This event is sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.

Mar
17
Wed
SouthTalks: “Indigenous Cultures and Histories of the Southeast” @ Online
Mar 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

The Original Peoples of the Southeast differed culturally, politically, and linguistically from other tribes across North America. The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, and Seminole Nations were forcibly removed from their traditional homelands and relocated to Oklahoma. In her talk, Dwanna L. McKay will examine some of the unique cultural practices and diverse histories of Indigenous Nations originally of the southeastern woodlands from precontact to current day.

Dwanna McKay

Dwanna L. McKay is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and an assistant professor in the race, ethnicity, and migration studies program at Colorado College. McKay holds a PhD in sociology, a graduate certificate in Indigenous studies, an MS in sociology, an MBA in management science, and a BA in political science. Raised culturally within the boundaries of her tribal nation in Oklahoma, McKay centers her teaching, research, service, and activism on an overall commitment to social justice. Her research focuses on social inequality and Indigenous identity, and has been published in numerous scholarly journals, including Sociological Compass, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, American Indian Quarterly, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and the European Sociological Review. She has also authored multiple book chapters, poems, essays, and opinion editorials. McKay currently serves on the national advisory committee for the Native American Student Advocacy Institute and previously held an appointment as Secretary of Education for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.

Mar
24
Wed
SouthTalks: “Traditional Crafts of Coastal Louisiana” @ Online
Mar 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Arts in Barnard Lecture: “Traditional Crafts of Coastal Louisiana”  with Maida Owens and Janie Luster

Maida Owens

In the talk “Traditional Crafts of Coastal Louisiana,” Louisiana state folklorist Maida Owens will talk about the crafts made by the many traditional cultures found on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. Some are made from native plants, such as the Spanish moss crafts, decoy carving, and boatbuilding, while others, such as embroidery and cloth dolls, are crafted from traditional textiles. All of these cultures are endangered as a result of increasing population movements due to land loss. Houma Indian Janie Luster will talk about her family traditions of using garfish scales and palmetto basketry. She studied museum artifacts to revive the half-hitch weave.

Basket created by Janie Luster

Maida Owens has been with the Louisiana Division of the Arts since 1986 and manages the state’s folklife program, where she has worked with hundreds of traditional artists and their communities and curates the program’s Folklife in Louisiana website. The program’s current project is the Bayou Culture Collaborative, which helps to sustain the cultures of coastal Louisiana.

Janie Luster is a master palmetto basket weaver and cultural preservationist of the United Houma Nation. Hailing from the community of Bayou DuLarge in Terrebone Parish, Luster comes from a long line of traditional healers and is a tribal advocate.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.

Mar
31
Wed
SouthTalks: “I Don’t Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life” @ Online
Mar 31 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Brian Foster

In the last six years, B. Brian Foster has talked with hundreds of Black Mississippians about race, the blues, politics, memory, community, and more. In this talk, he shares with us some of what they’ve shared with him, and he considers what it all might mean both now and for the future. Some of that work is included in his new book, I Don’t Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life, in which he considers the value of non-affirming sensibilities like pessimism, frustration, and exhaustion for how we think about Black identity and lived experience.

Brian Foster is a writer and storyteller from Mississippi. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently works as assistant professor of sociology and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Foster also serves as coeditor of the journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and is director of the Mississippi Hill Country Oral History Collective.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.

Apr
14
Wed
SouthTalks: “Still Worth Fighting For” @ Online
Apr 14 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Black students have struggled to reimagine the university. That struggle is one still worth fighting for. In the 1980s, when the rightward momentum shook the world to its core, Black student movements offered an alternative vision. Joshua M. Myers’s presentation will look to Howard students during that era as a model for what we still might do with the university.

Josh Myers

Myers’s book, We Are Worth Fighting For, is the first history of the 1989 Howard University protest. The three-day occupation of the university’s administration building was a continuation of the student movements of the sixties and a unique challenge to the politics of the eighties. Upset at the university’s appointment of the Republican strategist Lee Atwater to the Board of Trustees, students forced the issue by shutting down the operations of the university. The protest, inspired in part by the emergence of “conscious” hip-hop, helped to build support for the idea of student governance and drew upon a resurgent Black Nationalist ethos.

At the center of this story is a student organization known as Black Nia F.O.R.C.E. (Freedom Organization for Racial and Cultural Enlightenment). Cofounded by Ras Baraka, the group was at the forefront of organizing the student mobilization at Howard during the spring of 1989 and thereafter. We Are Worth Fighting For explores how Black student activists—young men and women— helped shape and resist the rightward shift and neoliberal foundations of American politics. This history adds to the literature on Black campus activism, Black Power studies, and the emerging histories of African American life in the 1980s.

Joshua M. Myers is an associate professor of Africana studies in the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University. He is the author of We Are Worth Fighting For: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989 (2019) and the editor of A Gathering Together: Literary Journal.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.